The Eid prayer was performed across Turkey early on Sunday, with mosques filled to capacity with millions of believers.
Worshippers greeted and hugged one another in the spirit of peace and love after the congregational prayer in celebration of one another’s Eid. They later dispersed to visit their friends and family, give gifts to one another and call distant relatives to convey their good wishes for the holiday. Eid lasts for three days and is generally an official holiday in Muslim countries.
Eid is an Arabic term meaning “festivity” or “celebration,” while fitr means “to break the fast.” Eid falls on the first day of Shawwal, the month that follows Ramadan on the Islamic calendar.
President Abdullah Gül performed the Eid prayer at İstanbul’s historic Sultanahmet Mosque. After greeting the believers who filled the mosque, the president had breakfast in the room of the mosque’s imam together with other mosque clerics.
The president then returned to the Tarabya Residence, where he was met with a long queue of children who were waiting at the entrance to receive pocket money from the president. Gül allowed the children into the compound and gave them pocket money, a common Eid tradition in Turkey. The president shared photos from the first day of Eid on Twitter.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was also in İstanbul on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, performing the Eid prayer at the Süleymaniye Mosque.
The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday was marked by homesickness and concern over continuing violence in their home country by Syrian refugees in camps in the southern Turkish province of Hatay.
Syrians staying in refugees camps along the Turkish-Syrian border expressed a desire to return to Syria, with tears in their eyes. However, many tried to capture the joy of the end-of-Ramadan holiday, exchanging Eid greetings with others in the camp.