Ramazan, one of the highlights in the Muslim calendar starts at sunset on 12 September. Those who keep to the fast will not eat, drink or smoke between dawn and dusk.

But how will it affect you if you are staying in or visiting the area? Read on…..

Observing Ramazan, the holy month, is very important for Muslims worldwide as it is one of the five basic duties of the faith – although women who are pregnant or menstruating, the sick, the aged and travellers are not expected to fast.

Fethiye, Marmaris and Bodrum are tourist areas so the locals make allowances for vistors. You will see people (Tourists and Turks) eating, drinking and smoking during the day, but it’s good form to be considerate to those Turkish people who are fasting and do any consumption subtly. This is particularly the case if you smoke – walking down the street puffing away isn’t going to make you popular with those with a nicotine craving.

In more rural places, or traditional cities (like Konya) you need to be more vigilant. Religious beliefs can be strong so don’t let people see you eat/drink or smoke in public. If you are travelling outside a tourist area you may find it difficult to find anywhere to eat during the day so take some food and drink with you.

A few things to watch out for:

  • Around dusk (See our left hand box for times) the hungry faster will speed home for their Iftar meal. Hungry, dying for a fag and with low blood sugar their driving will be even more erratic than normal. So be careful crossing the road or driving around about this time.

  • The drummer. This person stalks the streets in the early morning beating his drum to awake the fasters for their breakfast. He doesn’t care if you aren’t a faster so get some earplugs – or as one person did – pay him to go elsewhere!!

  • During the period of Ramazan, a special bread becomes available (called pide) which is large and round and sprinkled with black cumin seeds.  [These make great bases for French bread style pizza]

Ramazan will run from sunset 12 September to 13 October 2007.