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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Visiting Gallipoli during Ramadan


burlington

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Imagine the following.

Fast asleep and at circa 0430hrs (0330hrs in Istambul) the drums are sounded round the streets to wake people up to prepare breakfast before sunrise.

At circa 0530hrs the Muezzin calls and sometimes again at 0600hrs.

I found the calls far more restful, and interesting, than the drums but after 5 comparatively sleepless nights you do get used to it!

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Worse than that is being in the next room to Martin Wills. The walls shake. And not another pension for miles. Poor Kate who manfully endures ... or has very good earplugs.

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Burlington.

I also visited during Ramadan and i felt the atmoshere it created enhanced the trip! The only thing I found rather unerving was the first night without warning a cannon fired at 7pm to break the fast!

Regards,

Scottie.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Worse than that is being in the next room to Martin Wills. The walls shake. And not another pension for miles. Poor Kate who manfully endures ... or has very good earplugs.

You are right on that one Jon, but you failed to mention that the only reason you knew was because you were still up drinking ... and I am witness to that!

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quote from Scottie: I also visited during Ramadan and i felt the atmoshere it created enhanced the trip! The only thing I found rather unerving was the first night without warning a cannon fired at 7pm to break the fast!

The firing of a cannon at Ramadan to mark the beginning (or end?) of the fast is a long held tradition

As I understand it, the fast is undertaken during daylight hours; therefore, only after sunset and before sunrise is one is allowed to eat

At one time the cannon must have made a noise which was heard over the whole of the city, ensuring that no one broke the fast unsuspectedly.

The Turks used such a cannon in Jerusalem before the British occupation in December 1917

TurkishRamadansalute.jpg

and the British occupiers followed the same tradition from 1918 onwards

RamadanSalute1918.jpg

in 1945 they presented their cannon to the Moslem authorities at a ceremony at the Old City's Damascus Gate

1945presentationoftheRamadangun.jpg

Hearing the cannon's shot in a noisy, modern city must take some doing; which hotel were you staying at?

Best regards

Michael

note: photographs are credited to the Matson Collection at the Library of Congress (USA)

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Having lived and worked all over the Middle East and done business in Turkey (including during Ramadan), one should note that the observance of Ramadan can vary considerably by location. In Saudi and most of the Gulf states (outside some of the resort areas) it is very strictly observed. Smoking, drinking (of any kind of fluid), eating and sex are all banned during the hours of daylight. Depending on where you are allowances are made for foreigners (and hotel restaurants open behind screens) but it is always wise to be discreet and it is at best grossly impolite to smoke, eat, drink (and presumably have sex) in front of people who are fasting and at worst could get one arrested. In some places it can be much tighter (when I lived in Qatar for example there used to be an obnoxious little man who would open your office door to check you weren't surreptitiously supping coffee in there, However they have lightened up a bit since and what non Muslims do behind closed doors is their own business). The gun to signal dusk seems to be universal but not every where has one at dawn. The Muezzin's calls would be just before dawn Ramadan or not anyway to call the faithful to dawn prayer. In many places there is much feasting in the evening and into the night and very little work gets done in the day as many spend much of daylight asleep. I once had to deliver a tender to a ministry in Muscat (Oman) during Ramadan and everybody in the building appeared to be asleep, including the guard at the door slumped in the doorway cradling an SMLE (I stepped very gently around him).

In Turkey the observance of the fast varies considerably and in some parts of the country is just as strict as in the Gulf whilst in others it sits lightly (cafés and restaurants in some parts of Istanbul open during daylight with many young people observing the fast more in the breach than the observance and when I was staying there the drums were not beaten in all quarters).

I would advise an intelligent discretion if out and about away from the tourist areas.

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Kim,

Galliopli houses is on my list for my next visit!

Must say that visiting during Ramadan enhanced my trip and the drums/cannons made it very atmospheric. I am not as experienced in my travels as Centurian (interesting post, thanks) but any misgivings or pre judgements that I had about the Turks were quickly dispelled as they were very welcoming and many went out of there way to be helpful! Must start planning a return!

Regards,

Scottie.

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quote from Scottie: "Galliopli houses is on my list for my next visit!

Must say that visiting during Ramadan enhanced my trip and the drums/cannons made it very atmospheric. I am not as experienced in my travels as Centurian (interesting post, thanks) but any misgivings or pre judgements that I had about the Turks were quickly dispelled as they were very welcoming and many went out of there way to be helpful! Must start planning a return!"

Scottie,

Unlike Kim, I have not yet been lucky enough to stay at The Gallipoli Houses

However, I have had the owner's guided tour, room-by-room

and it is definitely on my list of must-stay-at-places for next time

And mark my words; there will be a next time!

Neither have I stayed at Canakkale as you did (with the cannon)

But I cannot imagine anything more peaceful than the village where The Gallipoli Houses are situated

A beer on their roof terrace at sunset is unforgettable - and two beers; Paradise

... .... ..... ......

Regarding Centurion's post

I too have worked with the observant during Ramadan, both in the fields and on the building site, and I don't know how they do it.

Don't forget that the calendar is I think lunar based and the month can wander around from winter to summer

Doing manual work in the summer's sun without a drink is not something which I would volunteer for.

I also understand that the rules prohibit swearing, cursing and looking at another woman during the hours of the fast

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I was staying at Gallipoli Houses (marvellous place) and there seemed to be 2 drummers going round the village, and more than once if the rise and fall of the sound was anything to go by. These drums had both a bass and a higher range note, so I am assuming 2 drummers.

Wakefulness guaranteed!

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Micheal, the experience was unforgettable!

From the fresh sun dried personal laundry to the shooting stars over the (our ...(Aussie) ) terrace, .....the call to prayer, the chooks, the service, ....the food, the company, Princess, ..........the warm and welcoming hosts, the knowledge, the tomatoes, the figs, the contacts, the large clean rooms, .....to watching the sun set over the ridges of Anzac............

I WANNA GO BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kim

PS. If you want peaceful, make sure we Aussies are not there at the same time, otherwise there might be strange apparitions wearing kilts, .......and belly dancing, ..........and weird references to Monty Python, .......and loud enjoyment and appreciation of simply being.................. at Gallipoli.

PS Check out the Cricket Bat! Roland would give me a lifetime of best cuts for it!

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Thanks Pals, Never heard of The Gallipoli Houses, so I went and did some Googling, they look great............."Now you have me planning my next trip". Thats what I like about the Forum, you can spend days just reading and learning, then a gem pops up.

Peter

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