Istanbul International Film Festival
April. Films from around the world attract more than 2 million visitors
to this annual festival. Special events include screenings of silent films,
midnight showings, discussions by the filmmakers and exhibits. For information,
call the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts.
National Sovereignty Day
23 April. Public holiday celebrating the anniversary of the establishment
of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.
Youth and Sports Day
19 May. Public holiday commemorating Ataturk's arrival at Samsun at the
beginning of Turkey's War of Independence. Ceremonies and events are also
held to encourage Turkish youth to honor their country and democracy.
International Istanbul Theater Festival
Jun. Around 50 performances of nearly 20 classic and experimental theater
pieces and dance performances in venues throughout the city. Workshops,
symposia and conferences. For information, contact the Istanbul Foundation
for Arts and Culture.
International Istanbul Jazz Festival
Jul . More than 300 local and international musicians and 40 bands give
concerts of jazz, rock, blues, reggae, electronica, pop and other musical
styles. Various venues. For information, contact the Istanbul Foundation
for Arts and Culture.
International Istanbul Music Festival
Jul.One of the most prominent events on the city’s cultural calendar
and one of the foremost musical events in Europe, the International Istanbul
Music Festival is a summer extravaganza of opera, ballet, and classical
and traditional music. Over the years the festival has hosted world-renowned
classical performers and groups from around the globe as well as local
artists and traditional music groups, from international philharmonic
orchestras, distinguished chamber ensembles and soloists, dance and ballet
performances by notorious dance companies, and Whirling Dervishes. Concerts
are held in various locations, including some of the historical buildings
30 Aug. Public holiday commemorating Turkey's victory over invading forces
29 Oct. Public holiday commemorating the establishment of the Turkish
Republic in 1923.
Istanbul Book Fair
Oct. This event draws 300 contributors and more than 250,000 visitors
annually. Tuyap Fair, Convention and Congress Center, E-5 Karayolu, Gurpynar
Istanbul Art Fair
Oct. More than 250,000 visitors browse modern and contemporary paintings
and sculpture on display and for sale from around 65 vendors. Tuyap Fair,
Convention and Congress Center, E-5 Karayolu, Gurpynar Kavsagi, Beylikduzu.
Nov.The holy month during which devout Muslims fast (no food, drink or
cigarettes) from dawn to sunset. As soon as the sun goes down, the breaking
of the fast takes place, with most people hurrying to satisfy their hunger.
Concludes 12 Nov
Nov. A three-day feast marking the end of Ramadan.
New Year's Day
1 Jan. Public holiday.
21-24 Jan. One of the most important Islamic holidays, during which many
Muslims sacrifice animals to be shared among family and friends as a gesture
of responsibility to the community. Many stores and businesses are closed.
Istanbul Shopping Fest
Early-Mid February. More than 5,000 organizations collaborate to offer
special discounts and promotions on a range of products (including leather,
jewelry and carpets), as well as cultural activities and events at stores,
malls, hotels, restaurants and theaters throughout the city.