Whether you live in Turkey (or Türkiye) or are passing through, the dates of public holidays and local school holidays will undoubtedly be useful to you. Our team has listed these dates in order to better understand the year 2023!
. From Monday January 23 to Friday February 3: Winter holidays /end of semester in Turkey (Sömestr tatili) for Turkish school children.
. From Thursday March 23 to Friday April 21: Month of fasting/Ramadan, it is one of the five pillars of Islam for practicing Muslims. The Bayram or Şeker Bayramı (“Sugar Festival”) will close the month of fasting with 3 days of national holidays in Turkey, from April 21 to 23. (April 20 being the day of arefe – the “eve” -, the afternoon is a day off.)
. From Monday 17 to Thursday 20 April: Mid-semester holidays in Turkey (Ara tatili) for schoolchildren.
. Sunday, April 23: National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (Ulusal Egemenlik ve çocuk Bayramı).
It’s the only national children’s day in the world! This holiday is celebrated in reference to April 23, 1920, the date of the first meeting in Ankara of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM), aimed at setting up the project of the Turkish Republic. Mustafa Kemal had proposed that children take power for a day. This day, which became a holiday at the request of Atatürk, has been celebrated since 1929.
. Monday, May 1: Labor and Solidarity Day (Emek ve dayanışma günü).
. Friday, May 19: Atatürk, Youth and Sports Commemoration Day (Atatürk’ü anma Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı).
This holiday refers to May 19, 1919, when Mustafa Kemal, leader of the Turkish nationalist resistance, landed in Samsun, on the Black Sea. It was the beginning of the War of Independence (1919-1922), which opposed the victorious Allied powers of the First World War and the nationalist resistance led by Mustafa Kemal. The latter entrusts the new Republic to the Turkish youth, so that it will perpetuate it until the end of time: “all my hope lies in the youth”, he will say.
. Friday, June 16: Beginning of summer vacation for Turkish schoolchildren. The 2023-2024 Turkish school year is scheduled to start on Monday, September 11.
. Wednesday June 28 to Saturday July 1: Kurban Bayramı (also known as “Aïd El Kebir” in other Muslim countries), which coincides with the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. It is celebrated every year two months and ten days after the end of Ramadan. The tradition is to sacrifice an animal, and share its meat. (June 27 being the day of arefe, the afternoon is off.)
. Saturday July 15: Democracy and National Unity Day (Demokrasi ve milli birlik), in reference to the “aborted coup” of July 15, 2016.
. Wednesday August 30: Victory Day (Zafer bayramı).
This day refers to August 30, 1922, when the Turkish army, under the command of Mustafa Kemal, won the battle of Dumlupinar (August 26-August 30, 1922) against the Greek armies. It is a symbolic date because it is the day when Turkey recovers its lands, and when it commits to the victory of the War of Independence, and to the creation of the Republic.
. Sunday October 29: Republic Day (Cumhuriyet bayramı). The afternoon of October 28 is in principle a holiday.
On October 29, 1923, Mustafa Kemal declared the Republic of Turkey, and became its first president. This holiday has been celebrated since 1925. This year, Turkey will celebrate the centenary of its foundation!
. Mid-semester holidays (Ara tatili) in November in Turkey for schoolchildren: dates to come.
. Monday, January 1, 2024: New Year (Yılbaşı).
Also note that November 10 is the anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Every year, at 9:05 a.m. (time of his death), the sirens sound and the Turks observe a minute of silence.
In addition, elections (presidential and legislative) are scheduled for spring 2023 (by June 18 at the latest). The date should be announced very soon.
Happy New Year 2023 to all!