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Turkey: On every corner of İstanbul an iftar table this Ramadan


Istanbul, (Today's Zaman):

Throughout Ramadan many streets of İstanbul host iftars (fast-breaking dinner) and events of a wide variety to accompany them, from entertainment for children to religious discussions and performances of whirling dervishes to concerts and poetry recitations.

The district of Esenler is hoping to break its own record of having the longest iftar table. Inside, on the Ensenler Cultural Center stage, programs for children, shadow plays and conferences take place every evening.

The historic peninsula, the center of old İstanbul, is likely to be the most attractive location in the city during Ramadan. The Fatih district, Sultanahmet Square, Beyazıt Square and the Eminönü neighborhood all host Ramadan events. In addition to an exhibition of traditional Turkish cuisine and crafts by the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, the ancient theater in Sultanahmet Square hosts a different event every evening: whirling dervish sema shows, performances of an Ottoman janissary band, a Hacıvat and Karagöz shadow puppet show, concerts by Ahmet Özhan and religious discussions are all featured on the theater’s schedule. Across Fatih, street iftars are held at 17 different locations. A Ramadan tent set up in Eminönü will host 5,000 people every evening.

The Beyoğlu Municipality has set up iftar tables in various neighborhoods of the district. Concerts are set to take place every evening during Ramadan near the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) building in Tepebaşı. Turkish classical musician Münip Utandı, neyzen (reed flute player) Süleyman Ergüner and the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality Kent Orchestra are among the performing acts.

Throughout Ramadan, craftsmen from Turkey and around the world will continue to display the works they had showcased as part of the sixth edition of the International Traditional Handicraft Days between July 20 and 29.

The Şile district continues to host events specifically for children after iftar at an ancient theater, Maşkatlık Park, Ağva Square and Boyacıdere Park.

Twenty-five neighborhoods and 20 villages of Beykoz feature iftar on the street throughout Ramadan. District residents of different religions meet at numerous iftar tables set on the streets of Polonezköy and several other neighborhoods. In a historic Beykoz tent, iftar tables will seat 10,000 guests, while at Belediye Square entertainment for children will be available every Saturday and Sunday.

A total of 25,000 people have their iftars at nine locations in Üsküdar during Ramadan. Ramadan events held at the Bağlarbaşı Cultural Center, consisting mostly of programs for children, continue this year. The neighboring Kadıköy Municipality has been distributing aid packages for 4,000 needy families and Selamiçeşme Özgürlük Park hosts festivities during Ramadan.

Open-air iftar table for 100,000 in Ümraniye

The Ümraniye Municipality is hoping to host a total of 100,000 people by the end of Ramadan at open-air iftar tables at seven different locations across the district. Twelve famous writers and preachers, including Dursun Ali Erzincanlı and Yavuz Bahadıroğlu, will address the Ümraniye residents in separate events during Ramadan.

In Bayrampaşa, only one Ramadan tent was set up, while the Bayrampaşa Municipality, in addition to hosting iftars for storeowners in neighborhoods where many shops are located, will organize 22 iftar programs outside of Turkey throughout Ramadan. The Gaziosmanpaşa and Zeytinburnu municipalities prefer to set up iftar tables on the street instead of hosting dinners in Ramadan tents.

The Bağcılar Municipality set up a Ramadan tent with air-conditioning to offer a comfortable dining experience for residents. The tent is set to host various celebrities, including famous doctor Ender Saraç, singer Latif Doğan and actor Necati Şaşmaz.

Open-air movie theaters are established in three locations of the Ataşehir district to serve audiences on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. In Arnavutköy, a soup fountain was installed for the residents who cannot make it for iftar dinner at home, while Karagöz-Hacıvat shadow puppet shows and animated shows will take place on the district’s festival field.

Beylikdüzü Municipality launches own talent competition

The Beylikdüzü Municipality has established an exclusive Ramadan town on a vast field where after-iftar shows, including Ramadan discussions and concerts, are to take place. The municipality will also host a talent competition for adults.

One of the busiest districts of İstanbul, Şişli, has a Ramadan tent to offer iftar for 3,000 guests every night during Ramadan. The Sultanbeyli Municipality hosts residents at three separate locations where iftar tables are set up every night. The many side events include concerts, religious discussions and Quran recitals.

The Pendik Municipality offers iftar in tents set up at locations along the coast for 3,000 during Ramadan, while in the neighboring district of Tuzla street iftars are held in 17 neighborhoods. A pavilion was set up near the shoreline for various activities for the duration of Ramadan.

In the districts of Küçükçekmece, Esenyurt, Çekmeköy and Kartal, iftar tables are also set up on the streets for thousands or residents to break their fast, while the municipalities of Bahçelievler and Silivri distribute aid for needy families along with other activities to take place throughout Ramadan.

The municipalities of Eyüp, Sarıyer, Maltepe, Kağıthane, Beşiktaş and Çatalca are holding a wide variety of events, ranging from concerts to religious discussions and from Quran and poetry recitals to comedy plays. The Başakşehir Municipality hosts special Ramadan programs at four locations. Well-known hafizes (Muslims who have memorized the entire Quran), including Ahmet Naina from Egypt and Rahim Kirhaki from Iran are set to take the stage in Başakşehir this Ramadan. Sevgi Korkut / Büşra Kırkpınar / Rümeysa Tuncer / Şule Dağlı İstanbul

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