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Friday, October 27, 2006

A Different Rhythm


The month of Ramadan (or Ramazan as it is pronounced in Turkish), sees much of the world's Muslim population fasting during daylight hours. The fast held during the holy month is considered one of the five pillars of Islam.

In Istanbul, and indeed across Turkey, the month creates a strong feeling of community and sharing. The warm atmosphere is lit up by shining mosques decorated with modern mahyas, nightly marquee food festivals and Karagöz and Hacıvat shows, and iftar dinners with friends and family, with traditional foods such as Ramazan pidesi and güllaç.

Whether you are Muslim or not, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar is a special time in Turkey; life takes on a different rhythm.


  1. Fasting Origins and Belief
  2. Ramadan in Istanbul
  3. Continuing Traditions
  4. Soul Feasts
  5. Celebrating Ramadan


The Turks (Royal Academy of Arts, 2005)
Storm on Horseback (The Turks, RAA, 2005)
Full of Eastern Promise (Jonathan Jones, The Guardian, 2005)
Telling a Thousand-year Old Story (Robert Greenall, BBC, 2005)
The Art of the Ottomans (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000/06)
Rise of the Turkic Peoples (Kessler Associates, 2004)
Muhammad's Sword (by Uri Avnery, Global Research, 2006)
Binnur's Turkish Cookbook (Recipe Blog in English)

Ramadan on the Net
Ramadan on Wikipedia
Ramadan on Fact Monster

Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years, 600-1600, by David J. Roxburgh
The Turks in World History, by Carter Vaughn Findley
Osman's Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire, by Caroline Finkel
Lords of the Horizons : A History of the Ottoman Empire, by Jason Goodwin
The Ottoman Turks: An Introductory History to 1923, by Justin McCarthy
A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East, by David Fromkin
History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey: Volume 2, Reform, Revolution, and Republic: The Rise of Modern Turkey 1808-1975, by Stanford J. Shaw & Ezel Kural Shaw
The Emergence of Modern Turkey (Studies in Middle Eastern History), by Bernard Lewis

Also see:
Who Are The Turks? (J & C McCarthy, American Forum for Global Education)
The Ottomans
Ottoman Empire (Religion & Ethics, BBC)
The Ottoman Artistic Legacy (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1999)
Ottoman Empire Antiques (Interior Design)
Iznik: The Artistry of Ottoman Ceramics (Turkish ceramics by Walter B. Denny)
Origins of Karagöz and Hacivad (Turkish Shadow Theatre, by Ersin Alok)
Istanbul Food Workshop
Rustic (Food Blog in English)
Portakal Ağacı (Food Blog in Turkish)

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