İstanbul favorite Ramadan destination for tourists
With its magnificent historical and cultural wealth, İstanbul is home to many spiritual sites that have attracted many domestic and foreign tourists during the holy month of Ramadan this year Today`s Zaman reported
Many tourists have come from abroad for the month of Ramadan to break their fast in Sultanahmet Square, which has long been the center of traditional Ramadan entertainment in the city.
Ebu Abdullah from Saudi Arabia was waiting for Ramadan to visit Turkey. Speaking with Today's Zaman, he said: "We have been watching the Ramadan activities in Turkey for many years on TV, and this year I decided to come to Turkey for Ramadan with my family. We will spend the first week of Ramadan in İstanbul. This is the first time we have been in Turkey, and I think it is very exciting to be here." He also said: "We actually have similar Ramadan activities in Saudi Arabia, but I really like the way the Turkish state authorities participate in the Ramadan activities and iftar [fast breaking-dinner], which is unusual in my country."
He also added, "İstanbul is a very special and important place for Muslims all over the world, and we have shared the joy of the Ramadan with many people from different countries. We are also planning to come to Turkey next year for Ramadan."
Another person who admires the Ramadan activates in İstanbul is Zeynep Eber Azam from Syria. Eber Azam said: "Because of the civil war that is still going on in my country I have come to Turkey, and I'm working here as an Arabic language teacher. İstanbul has a different atmosphere, especially during Ramadan. İftar dinners bring together many people from different countries, and I'm very grateful to share the joy of Ramadan with many Muslims from different corners of the world, and I love İstanbul."
Hiya Terzi, a tourist from Norway, said: "I left my country a long time ago because of the unstable conditions and civil war that was in my country. I'm living in Norway now with my parents, and every year we come to Turkey for Ramadan because İstanbul reminds us of our country and our own traditions." He also added: "It is very exciting to break our fast in İstanbul, and there are many activities in İstanbul for Ramadan during the day and night. Sultanahmet Square is my favorite place to break my fast because I love Sultanahmet Square.
The historic Sultanahmet Square is a meeting place for people who live in İstanbul and also for many tourists during Ramadan, where many spend their time from iftar until sahur (pre-dawn meal). The festivities in the square begin with recitations from the Quran, and a concert of Sufi music is held after the tarawih prayer, an evening prayer performed during Ramadan after the regular night prayer.
Alevi and Sunni businessmen came together on Wednesday for an iftar (fast-breaking meal) organized by a group of businessmen at Bursa's Çelik Palas Hotel.
Speaking at the iftar, Bursa Governor Şehabettin Harput said, "This is one of the first dinners for Alevis and Sunnis of its kind in Turkey, and I am very proud of it."
Harput congratulated the organizers, saying: "I believe that there are no lies behind this group and no political ideas. I see your main aim is only bonding, friendship and love, and I am honored to be here with you."