Public Holidays in Turkey

In Turkey, there are different types of public holidays. These are National, General, and Religious type holidays.

The following table gives information about the public holidays in Turkey’s date and their type.


Holiday

Date

Type

New Year

January 1

General 

National Independence and Children’s Day

April 23

National

International Workers Day/Labor and Solidarity Day

May 1

General

The Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day

May 19

National

Democracy and National Unity Day

July 15

General

Victory Day

August 30

National

Republic Day

October 29

National

Eid-al Fitr (Ramazan Bayramı)

First three days of Shawwal (Islamic Calendar)

Religious

Eid-Al Atha (Kurban Bayramı)

Starts from the tenth day of Zynhicce(Islamic Calendar), 4 days

Religious

First day of the New Year

As in various countries of the world in which the Gregorian calendar is used, new years refers to the night that connects the last day of the year to the first day of the second year, and it is celebrated in Turkey as well. The first day of the year is defined as a general holiday, in which schools and some of the workers are free that day. New years holiday is categorized in the general holidays. People in Turkey celebrate new years at home with their loved ones or outdoors. Even though giving presents is a thing in new years, not everyone does that in Turkey.

National Independence and Children’s Day

National Independence and Children’s Day is a day given to children not only in Turkey but all around the world by the founder of the Turkey Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Besides being an official holiday in Turkey, National Independence and Children’s Day is also celebrated as an official holiday in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Additionally, National Independence and Children’s Day is celebrated under the name “Day of Turks”.

April 23 was an important date in Turkey’s history since, on April 23, 1920, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was established. Each year National Independence and Children’s Day is celebrated with children all around the world coming to Turkey and having fun with ceremonies and shows.

International Workers Day/Labor and Solidarity Day

International Workers Day is a day that is celebrated all around the world including in many countries. It is a day that is established to raise awareness about workers’ rights and defending their rights. In Turkey, International Workers Day was first officially celebrated in the year 1923. Starting from 2008, International Workers Day was referred to as “Labor and Solidarity Day”.

It was not until 2009 to Labor and Solidarity Day to have officially become a holiday in Turkey. After April 27, 2009, Labor and Solidarity Day started to be celebrated as a holiday.

The Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day

On 19 May 1919, the founder of the Turkey Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk got off in Samsun with the famous Bandırma Ferry and this day is accepted as the day where the Turkish Independence War began. This holiday was given as a gift to the youth of Turkey by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Every year, The Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day celebrates in a way that includes sports shows and ceremonies. It is a holiday in schools and workplaces as well, meaning that no one goes to school or work except for those who work in jobs that must continue no matter what.

Democracy and National Unity Day

Democracy and National Unity Day is a holiday dedicated to the people who lost their lives in the coup attempt that occurred on July 15, 2016. It is celebrated each year with various ceremonies. Workplaces are on the holiday as well on July 15.

Victory Day

Victory Day is a holiday for celebrating the victory of the Battle of Dumlıpınar that ended on 30 August 1922. Besides being a holiday in Turkey, Victory Day is also considered as a holiday in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Sometimes the Victory Day is also referred to as the Turkish Armed Forces Day. Even though Victory Day was being celebrated since 1923, it got the statue of being a holiday in the year 1926.

The victory of the Battle of Dumlupınar has a big significance in Turkish history because it marks the date when Greek domination in Anatolia was completely diminished. Victory Day is celebrated each year with various ceremonies and shows specially prepared for this day.

Republic Day

The Republic Day has the feature of being the only holiday in Turkey that is under the category of national holidays, and it marks the day when Turkey was officially pronounced as a republic on October 29, 1923. Even though the date of establishing the Turkey Republic was in 1923, Republic Day was accepted as a holiday in the year 1925.

In Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, in which 29 October is also accepted as the Republic Day, the holiday starts from the noon of the day before and ends on the night of October 29. In other words, it is a public holiday for one and a half days in Turkey on Republic Day.

Eid-al Fitr (Ramazan Bayramı)

Eid-al Fitr(also known as Ramazan Bayramı, Şeker (Candy) Bayramı) is a religious holiday celebrated in Turkey, and it marks the day when Ramadan ends and people break their fasts. This is the reason why Eid-al Fitr is also referred to as the “Festival of Breaking the Fast”. Ramadan is a month in the Islam world that is valued a lot, and people fast for a month (this does not mean they do not eat or drink anything for a whole month, they break and start fast each day in certain hours) as a religious duty. Eid-al Fitr is started by the end of this month and celebrated among Muslim people.

Since Eid-al Fitr was defined according to the lunar calendar, the days depend according to the Gregorian calendar. Being clean and well-dressed, and serving candies to the guests are among important features that should be considered in Eid-al Fitr.

Eid-al Atha (Kurban Bayramı)

Eid-al Atha (Kurban Bayramı in Turkish or Feast of Sacrifice) is a religious holiday celebrated in Turkey and it is relevant to what is written in Qur’an. According to Qur’an, Prophet Abraham had to sacrifice a goat instead of his son to God. This event had occurred after Prophet Abraham begged God to give him a son, and God gave him a son with one condition, which is sacrificing him when the time comes. The time comes and Prophet Abraham cannot sacrifice his son, and God sends him a goat to sacrifice instead. This event was what led to the occurrence of Eid-al Atha, in which Muslims sacrifice specific animals and give the meat to the poor people.

Eid-al Atha was also defined according to the lunar calendar, and the days differ since the Gregorian calendar is being used in Turkey. Visiting relatives and being properly dressed is among the things people should consider in Eid-al Atha.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

You may also like...