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Safiye Bayat: The woman who spearheaded the Bosporus Bridge resistance on the night of July 15

Turkey is slowly getting to know the faces of the July 15 resistance against the coup attempt, as traffic cameras and video footage reveal more acts …

Turkey's Istanbul Attack Vengeance Will Be Like 'Rain From Hell'

The suicide bombing at Turkey's Ataturk Airport is a symbolic attack at the heart of Istanbul. If ISIS is indeed behind this attack, as the U.S. and …

Middle East

5 Reasons to Visit Istanbul This Fall

<i>TPG Contributor Vikram Birring traveled to Istanbul earlier this year and had a wonderful time. Here’s why he says you should plan a trip to this</i> …

Frequent-flyer Programs

30 places in Europe you must see in your lifetime

European Travel

Turkey’s EU accession: we stop it at our peril

It is sad how anti-Turkish rhetoric and jingoism are so easily flowing off British and other western politicians’ tongues these days, with Turkey …

North Africa

Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins today

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a time when Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex from sunrise to sunset. It is a …

Islam

Millions in Istanbul make ready for Ramadan resolutions With the approach of the holy month of Ramadan, millions of Muslims are weighing up possible resolutions to improve their mental, physical and spiritual well-being. The month, which this year lasts from Monday to July 4, sees many of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims commit to a strict daytime fast, often taking the opportunity to make promises to improve their lives. Among them are millions of Istanbulites weighing up resolutions as the month approaches. Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a time when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. The practice forms one of the five fundamentals, or pillars, of Islam. The holy period creates a different atmosphere in Istanbul - changing millions of people's eating habits, working practices and praying times. Popular resolutions often include spiritual endeavors such as reading the Quran or praying daily in a mosque. Others are more everyday - giving up listening to music, for example, or cutting out television or social media. "I want to get rid of technology at least for a month," 22-year-old Savaş Taşkın, a university student, told Anadolu Agency. "What I want most to do during Ramadan is to quit social media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram - to focus on my prayers. I want to quit smoking and work out as well." In Islam, the meaning of Ramadan is not just about fasting from food or drink - it encourages people to scrutinize their behavior and refrain from bad habits for the purpose of gaining "taqwa", the consciousness of Allah. Ramadan is also a good time for Muslims to evaluate themselves spiritually and make resolutions in their lives. Keeping your word But the challenge is to make these resolutions stick. "We are always making promises every Ramadan but we cannot keep our word," Gokhan Kartışoğlu, 32, of Istanbul, said. An accountant, Kartışoğlu said he has previously promised to quit smoking and start going to a gym but failed to keep it up. Helping others is often part of people's resolutions. Organizing fast-breaking meals during the Ramadan is a popular way of doing this for many Muslims. "I want to serve people iftar in my home this Ramadan as I do each year," Halit Arı, a 52-year-old tradesman from Istanbul, said. He also said he would regularly observe Ramadan night prayers, known as "teraweeh", during the month. "I am giving up scholarship for university students for the sake of this month and I planning continue to help them after Ramadan," he added. Most Muslims focus on their prayers during the holy month for the sake of Allah, without expecting any personal reward. One tourist in Istanbul said that every Ramadan she promises to perform dawn prayers but often fails. "I want to make it real this Ramadan and continue to do it in my whole life," Eritrean sightseer Hurriya, 22, said. Hurriya, who now lives in Sweden, said she also wanted to read the Quran more. Ramadan is an opportunity for all Muslims to realize their resolutions. The challenge begins on Monday.

Feel the privilege of a Blue Voyage on the Turkish Riviera

Compared to the Italian Riviera and the French Riviera, Turkey is more affordable without making any concessions on quality when it comes to a …

European Travel

Antalya's sand sculptures depict wonders of the world

Organized for the 10th time this year, the International Antalya Sand Sculpture Festival kicked off with the motto "14 Wonders of the World and …

Machu Picchu

Istanbul city guide: essential sights, and where to eat, drink and stay

Beyond the mosques and palaces, Turkey’s cultural capital has lots to fill a city break, from neighbourhood tours and art galleries to a chic ‘hole in the wall’ cafe, stylish B&Bs and cocktail bars<p>Our Istanbul: readers’ tips<p><b>What to do</b><p><b>Istanbulite tours</b><br>The delightful Eda Sökmen specialises in …

10 of the best ways to enjoy Istanbul on a budget

The Hagia Sophia, Galatasary FC, Bosphorus views … there are so many ways of exploring Istanbul’s riches while keeping your lira on a leash<p>• Our complete city guide to Istanbul<p>Museum pass: Istanbul Müzekart<p>Planning some serious sightseeing? The Istanbul Museum Pass allows free entrance to a dozen …

Two sides of the Gallipoli War

In the summer of 1914, Europe, and later the other powers, found themselves in the middle of a war. The assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz …