A win for the environment but a loss for sports fans as the government cancels the twice a year clock change.

Time zones

The Turkish Government agreed on the 8 September that Turkey will no longer follow the tradition and change its time twice a year as the seasons change between Eastern European Time (EET) and Eastern European Summer Time (EEST)

Now Turkey will be permanently be in Further-eastern European Time (FET), along with Western Russia and Belarus.

The decision also places Turkey in the same time zone as Iran and Saudi Arabia.


No more Spring Forward, Fall back

On 8th September the Turkish government took the decision to remain on DST (Daylight Saving Time) throughout the year… Previously, similar to Europe and many other countries worldwide, Turkey used the “spring forward, fall back” adjustment to increase daylight time in the evening.

Daylight Saving Time is now in use in over 70 countries worldwide and affects over a billion people every year.

The only difference is that now there will be no “fall back” at the end of October, meaning that during the winter the mornings will be darker and the evenings will be lighter, compared with previous years.

Twenty years ago, in 1996, the European Union (EU) standardized Daylight Saving Time across the continent with clocks changing on the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October and until 8th September 2016 Turkey also complied with this.

Increased travel time

When European and British clocks are changed at end of October it will mean that Turkey will be three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in winter as well as summer and two hours ahead of continental Europe in winter.

As far as the UK is concerned, Turkey will be two hours ahead in the summer and three hours in winter.

Power saving

The Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yıldırım, announced the change following a cabinet meeting last week. He said it would make better use of winter daylight and result in substantial savings in terms of power.

According to the British Guardian, Prime Minister Yıldırım said:

“There will be no confusion now. The hours will be the same in winter and summer. You will change, not the hours.”

But with most citizens now owning some form of smart phone that automatically updated for time changes any confusion was in reality short lived.

What the media says

The Hürriyet Daily News explained that: “The move has not been welcomed by sports followers in Turkey, as with the time gap between Europe and Turkey becoming larger for six months of the year, sports events taking place in European countries will be watched in Turkey at later hours, causing event followers, especially football fans, to endure sleepless nights if they wish to watch games in various European leagues. UEFA and Champions League games featuring Turkish teams will also be viewed at later hours, often ending after midnight in Turkey.”

It’s not all bad news; the English version of Sabah reported that: Turkey saves about 800 million to 1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity throughout daylight saving time, equivalent to the annual power production of a mid-level hydroelectric power plant.

Turkey holds back time

It isn’t the first time that Turkey has been out of kilter with European and Greenwich Mean Time.

So as not to confuse voters at the last election in November 2015 the time change was delayed by a week.

The time change was also suspended in one year to prevent students who were about to take exams from arriving to their exams late.