Holidays are important in Turkey. This country is one of those that wholeheartedly cherishes and respects its traditions and customs. So when certain holidays come, they pay respect and reverence. At times, Turkish people will be in a celebratory mood, cheering and dancing about. At other times, they'll be consumed with silent prayer and meditation. Although Turkey is mostly an Islamic country, people here still celebrate some Christian holidays too. But regardless of one's religious beliefs, there are also those national holidays that everyone pays respect to. Here are some you might want to know!
National Sovereignty and Children's Day (April 23)
Back in the early 20th century, Turkey was still under the Ottoman Empire. However, it soon changed over the years, leading up to gaining its own independence and becoming a republic in 1923. This all started in 1920 when the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was founded. On April 23, 1920, this legislative body was the first to denounce the government of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed VI and established its own temporary constitution. Because of this, April 23 became Turkey's National Sovereignty and Children's Day. The latter was formed when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Turkish Republic, established the holiday as a reminder that children are the successors of the future.
Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day (May 19)
Speaking of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, on May 19, 1919, the founding father landed in Samsun and started the Turkish National Movement. It was a historic defect from his orders as inspector of the Ninth Army Troops Inspectorate, establishing a solid affront to the Ottoman leaders in power during at the time. The movement then paved the way for the Turkish War of Independence that led to the country gaining independence in 1923. Years prior in 1915, on the same date, May 19, the first İdman Bayramı
(Gymnastics Festival) was held in Turkey. Hence, this day is celebrated as Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day
Victory Day (August 30)
From 1919 to 1923, the Turkish Independence War happened between the Turkish National Movement and the Ottoman Empire. It was the decisive conflict that leads to Turkey's full independence and proclamation as a republic. Out of so many battles that took place at the time, it was the Battle of Dumlupınar on August 30, 1922, that helped the Turkish National Movement win the war. From that moment on, Turkey soon took out the Ottoman Empire's rule and became its own republic. Four years later, in 1926, August 30 officially became the 'Victory Day,' a national holiday that commemorates both that historic moment and the country's armed forces.
Republic Day (October 29)
Perhaps the most celebratory out of all the national holidays on this list, Republic Day is on October 29. It commemorates the day that Turkey was officially proclaimed as a republic, becoming the independent country it is today. Many people actually start in the latter half of the day before, mostly due to preparation for the celebrations on an actual day. People take a day off from work
, Istanbul holds parades, and people invited each other over. At times, even social customs
are thrown out the window what with all the joyful celebrations going on!
Here in Turkey, national holidays are a lot more important than you might think. Beyond the religious holy days that other countries also celebrate, many people also still pay tribute to the country's own commemorative holidays.
Whether you're with your family in your luxury home
or with friends outside, celebrate these Turkish holidays with everyone while you're here!