Istanbul Travel Guide
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EVENTS


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 in Istanbul.


Victory Day
30 Aug. Public holiday commemorating Turkey's victory over invading forces in 1922.


Republic Day
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 Kavsagi, Beylikduzu.


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.


Ramadan

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


Seker Bayram
Nov. A three-day feast marking the end of Ramadan.


New Year's Day

1 Jan. Public holiday.


Kurban Bayram
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.


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