Qadr Night and Ataturk’s Death

A couple of important dates to the religious and secular in Turkey.

Qadr Night

Last night, the 27th of Ramadan, was “Qadr Night” (Kadir Gecesi), the night the Koran was shown to the Prophet Mohammed for the first time. For Muslims, it is a very holy night.

Although this is my fourth Ramazan in Turkey, This is the first time I recall hearing about Qadr Night. When Onur mentioned it to me I thought he said “kadin gecesi” (ladies’ night). A slight difference in pronunciation can make a large difference in meaning!

Ataturk’s Death

At 9.05 am on 10 November 1938, Ataturk died. Today is the 66th anniversary of his death. At the same time each year, for a few minutes, many people stand at attention, sirens sound and traffic stops (including the Bosphorous ferries).

A few minutes ago whilst in the toilet I heard a siren. I thought the sound was an emergency vehicle and it led to thoughts about a home burning or some other emergency. I was relieved to discover the siren was only ceremonial.

PS: Mix FM, the local radio station is currently playing “My Way” by Frank Sinatra. Check the lyrics. I don’t think it is coincidental this song is playing on the anniversary of Ataturk’s death.