Ankara Events, Things to Do and Festivals

(Ankara, Turkey)

City viewTurkey celebrates the main Muslim events that are observed elsewhere in the Islamic world, such as Ramadan and Eid. Republic Day on the 29th of October is the biggest festival celebration in Ankara, as with the rest of the country, as it marks the founding of Turkey.

Compared to other regions of Europe, however, Ankara does not offer the most colourful and interesting festivals, and seasonal things to do. Annual events that are particularly appealing to tourists are the International Ankara Music Festival in April and the Efes Pilsen Blues Festival in November.

Ankara Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • New Year's Day - January 1st, as popular here as in Istanbul, Europe and the rest of the world, New Year's Day is a public holiday with events planned all over the city


  • Eid al-Fitr (Seker Bayram) - a noteworthy celebration throughout the Muslim world every February, and particularly in both Ankara and Istanbul


  • Ankara International Film Festival - features quality screenings in support of young and promising actors and actresses, and directors


  • International Children's Festival - honours Turkey's founder, Kemal Ataturk, with a ten-day event including a children's festival
  • International Ankara Music Festival - goes on for most of the month of April every year here, where Turkish music lovers from all over the country descend on the city


  • Commemoration of Ataturk - May 19th, another national holiday commemorating Ataturk and Turkish children


  • International Asia-Europe Biennial-Ankara - a notable fair marking the city's ties between Europe and Asia every two years in June


  • Bilkent International Anatolian Festival - this popular music event each August is set up by the Bilkent University's Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, and draws thousands of music lovers and performers without fail


  • Ramadan - the period of fasting follows the Islamic calendar and sees Turkish Muslims sticking to the rules of no eating during the day


  • Republic Day - October 29th sees partying and celebrations galore to mark the end of the Ottoman Empire and the official founding of Turkey


  • Efes Pilsen Blues Festival - travels around Russia and Turkey, featuring American and Turkish performers taking part in blues marathons here each November, along with food and dance


  • Eid ul-Adha - takes place 70 days after the end of Ramadan, with four days of feasting among the Muslim community