Turkey's festivals, public holidays and religious days throughout the year
Find out about Turkey’s public, national and religious holidays when planning your Kalkan holidays
New Year's Day (Yeni yıl gün) in Turkey starts with fireworks after the traditional countdown at the end of 31st December. There is parties held in quite a few bars and restaurants and celebrations can go on until dawn. As is customary in many countries, it is usual practice for Turkish people to relax and visit friends and relatives on New Years Day.
In Turkey, December 31st became the last day of the calendar year when in 1926 they started using the Gregorian/Western calendar. January 1st was later made an official holiday in 1935.
There is always a great atmosphere in Kalkan on New Year's Eve and many people gather along the harbour front to celebrate and welcome in the New Year.
Schools, post offices, public/government offices and banks are closed on New Years Day.
'Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth & Sports Day' (Atatürk'ü Anma, Gençlik ve spor Bayramı) celebrates the arrival of Atatürk in Samsun in 1919 and the beginning of the War of Independence which resulted in a victory for Turkey and the foundation of the Turkish Republic.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk later became independent Turkey's first president during which time Ataturk himself proclaimed May 19th as "Youth & Sports Day" to recognise the importance of the youth of Turkey, and celebrate their achievements. In the aftermath of Ataturk's monumental legacy, the day also serves to honour the country's founder.
This day is a great opportunity to see Turkish children demonstrating their patriotism. In Kalkan it starts with a procession down to the Atatürk statue (located between DoyDoy and Salt & Pepper restaurants) and a short ceremony. Following this, the celebrations continue at one of the schools where after some patriotic speeches, the children provide entertainment in the amphitheatre with sports displays, singing and dancing.
Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth & Sports Day is a National holiday in Turkey and banks, schools, post offices and government offices will be closed.