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Ramadan

Perrysburg, Ohio
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Ramadan

Since several of you have been asking about Ramadan and are planning on visiting Istanbul during that time, below is a link to an article from today's Turkish Daily News that you might find interesting. It's titled "The Fanfare and Bright Lights of Sultanahmet's Ramadan." How I wish I could be there!

www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php…

Jo

Cirali / Antalya
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1. Re: Ramadan

What a great article....here is another one;

www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php…

A taste from old Ramadans: Pide

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ramadan has it own culture in Turkey with its famous Ramadan tables graced with a generous menu, celebrations, candy vendors, and Ramadan shopping. Pide is an indispensable part of this cultural ritual.

Perrysburg, Ohio
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2. Re: Ramadan

Thanks for the link canmom...That pide looks yummy! Are they as festive (i.e., lights, activities, etc.) in your area as they are in Sultanahmet?

Jo

Cirali / Antalya
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3. Re: Ramadan

Hi Jo,

Some similar festivities are held like this in various locations around Antalya...but I am sure it soes not have the same flair like in the SultanAhmet area.

Yesterday we were shopping for school supplies at the Migros Shooping center and yes they had kioks and booths set up for Ramadan. Like cotton candy, candied apples and more traditional Ramadan foods...

Also they have shows everynight on stage for the kiddes. My son's favorite is Hagivat and Karagöz. Here is a link;

www.karagoz.net/english/shadowtheatre.htm

There are many locations around Antalya offering different things for the Ramadan month. From the İftar tents to theathers etc...

All the mosques are lite up with lights as well. But I am sure that the Sultan Ahmet area would be just wonderful right now !!!

Athens, Greece
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4. Re: Ramadan

I just spent a week in Istanbul, returned to Athens Saturday Sept. 15.

I visited the Sultanahmet Ramazan festivities, and it was a nice outing. Certainly the festive atmosphere of the Ramazan evenings is an improvement to the usually quiet late hours at Sultanahmet.

On the evening we were there there was also an outdoor (free) Sufi dervis show which we attended for a while. More interesting than the whirling dervises was the 'action' taking place amongst the audience, young Turkish men trying to chat up young foreign women. This was actually quite endearing, how the two parties could not communicate in either side's language!

The next evening we found ourselves in the Ramazan fair of Fatih, right by the small park next to the Aqueduct walls (a short walk from the Zeyrek Camii, also known as the Church of the Pantocrator). I have to say that this fair was more enjoyable for us than the Sultanahmet one. It was slightly more crowded and raucous, but it was more of a 'family' and 'local' atmosphere. We delighted in the sight of children running around, scampering over the Mehmet II monument, or taking their turns in the miniature merry-go-round and trains that were set up for the kids. In the Fatih Cayhane (tea garden) adjacent to the stalls there is a live show in the evening, four musicians and a singer. I was told they played music from southern Turkey. At one stall they were making kunefe (angel hair pastry with soft cheese & syrup), and we sat down to have some of that prepared for us on the spot. Delicious!

Next to the festivities in Fatih there are large white cadir (tents) set up by the municipal authorities that offer food to the poor. I saw similar charity tents in other parts of the city, and in Taksim square vans were distributing cardboard boxes with Ramazan provisions to the homeless and/or needy. (For anyone who wants to make a donation, these prepared meal boxes can be purchased at major grocery stores.)

Another street fair we attended is in Ortakoy, on the waterfront between the two boat piers. This began some weeks before Ramazan, so I am not sure if it going to last to the end of the fasting season. Here the focus is on Black Sea foods and crafts, with stalls selling ikat fabrics, books, DVD, music CDs about that region. Also a stall with rose water specialties from another area of Turkey whose location I cannot recall right now. In the evening inside a felt tent food is served, and there are scheduled as well as impromptu live performances by youth groups with songs and dances from the Karadeniz (Black Sea) tradition.

I was told that there are also Ramazan festivities at the Feshane Fair and Convention grounds. I did not have time to go there myself. Unfortunately there are no specific details at the center's website. http://www.feshane.com.tr/en/index.htm

Two other interesting observations about Ramazan -->

After visiting the Kariye (Chora) church with its outstanding Byzantine mosaics, we crossed to the other side of Fevzi Paşa Caddesi to get to the Mihrimah Camii. Unfortunately the gates were locked (there is much scaffolding visible in the courtyard, maybe there is renovation work going on) so we could not go in. Instead, we walked behind the mosque to have a look at the Ottoman-era city walls. Walking along the path on their outer side we came upon a man crouching in the bushes who was surreptitiously puffing on a cigarette. The look of fear on his face immediately disappeared the moment he realized we were only tourists!

Another Ramazan-related observation is walking along Istiklal Caddesi and its environs (Tunel, Asmalimescit, Cukurcuma) at the iftar hour, and seeing which eateries are packed with locals getting ready to break their fast. A sure sign of which establishment serves quality food or not!

nkt
Ankara, Turkey
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5. Re: Ramadan

Dear okyrhoe,

Rosewater usually comes from Isparta (just like Edessa and Mt.Olympos, it seems there were a couple of Spartas on either side of Aegean Sea :)

The other thing - As far as I know, the walls next to Mihrimah Mosque are from Byzantine period.

And Happy Ramadan (I had to say something that relates to the initial subject of the thread)

Athens, Greece
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6. Re: Ramadan

A few more comments regarding Ramazan.

There are mounds and mounds of dates on sale in the food markets and in the grocery stores in the days leading to Ramazan. There are many varieties to choose from, and my favorites turned out to be the plump, dark dates from Iran. The dates from Medina are also worth mentioning. Back home (in Athens) the only dates available are the Tunisian variety, which tend to be dry and stringy, nothing like the buttery Middle-Eastern varieties.

Also, wandering through the food markets of Istanbul, I noticed huge quantities of tahini (sesame paste) and molasses on sale for Ramazan. I am interested in knowing how these are consumed. My guess is to spread them on bread, similar to eating a peanut butter and jam sandwich. But maybe someone can correct me on this. The molasses, also, comes in several types. I recognized grape molasses, carob molasses, and another variation, "DUT PEKMEZİ". Is this made from mulberries?

Kayakoy, Turkey
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7. Re: Ramadan

What a coincidence, I bought the 'Dut pekmez' version yesterday. Yes it is mulberry, it is a very good vitamins shot and delicious on pancakes! That is actually why I bought it in the first place, as a substitute to the Dutch sugar cane syrup where I grew up with, or maple syrup. I have to admit the dut pekmez is perhaps even better!

And as to Ramazan treats, do try the Güllac:

bigglook.com/biggistanbul/eskiist/eskitat.asp

In turkish, but I put the link for the picture.

It is an absolute delicious pastry, milky, sometimes rose water addes, pomigranate, walnuts and pistachios. The pastry is made with starch as a base instead of flour. I have eaten very very good one in Saray and in Ozsüt.

Cheers!

nkt
Ankara, Turkey
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8. Re: Ramadan

The common way of consuming those is by mixing. Molasses (I suppose this means pekmez) by itself is too sweet, Tahini by itself is too heavy. You mix the two at a ratio to your taste. And then dip bread in it.

I like the grape molasses (uzum pekmezi), but not the mulberry (dut pekmezi) one.

Athens, Greece
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9. Re: Ramadan

Another Ramazan-related observation:

It was explained to me that there is a long stretch btwn Ramadan and a forthcoming religious event during which it is inauspicious to wed. So many young people decide to marry before Ramadan.

The Saturday before Ramadan whereever I went it seemed as if the city was brimming with wedding parties. It was very surreal, walking down Istiklal, and even the crowded and crazy area of Nevizade Sokak and seeing brides and bridegrooms partying, or walking about, heading to or from a tavern, with their formally-dressed guests in tow. The experience was right out of a Bunuel or Fellini movie.

Cirali / Antalya
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10. Re: Ramadan

bumping up for the member..darlingdan.........