Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A new type of iftar in Istanbul

On the first night of Ramadan last month, thousands of people gathered on İstiklal Caddesi in central Istanbul. They laid down newspapers and tablecloths in a long line stretching nearly half a kilometer — then sat down on the ground to break their fast in the middle of the city’s busiest pedestrian

Passing food and drinks from hand to hand, participants called out to people walking by, “Is anyone hungry? Is anyone thirsty?” and leaped up to distribute water, dates, baklava and other traditional fast-breaking items. As the meal wrapped up, young men toting large garbage bags chanted, “Trash! Trash! Trash!” as they worked their way through the crowd collecting refuse.

Ramadan, the month when observant Muslims traditionally fast from dawn till dusk, ended this year on August 7, but not before coming against a backdrop of weeks of street protests in Istanbul and elsewhere in Turkey. The very iftar meal that breaks the day’s fast became a forum for Turkish people to express their dissatisfaction with the direction they feel the country is taking....

Read the rest of this article, “Amid Strife, Turks Break Fast Together for Ramadan,” on Zester Daily.

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