Visitors have plenty of choices when it comes to annual events in Istanbul, many are run by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts.

Here is a selection for visitors to Istanbul to consider when planning their trips



International Istanbul Film Festival

A two week event where you have the opportunity to view Turkish movies (with English subtitles).




Tulip Festival

You may be surprised to discover that tulips originated in Turkey.

Commemoration of the Anzac Landings

Each April 25 sees Australians and New Zealanders gathering in Gallipoli to remember the Anzac landings during World War I



International Theatre Festival

A biennial event that alternates with the aptly named International Biennial. A chance to see both international theatre and a selection of the best Turkish plays.

International Istanbul Puppet Festival

Most of the shows are silent so they can be enjoyed by all nationalities and ages.

Conquest of Istanbul – May 29

Mehmet the Conqueror’s conquest of Constantinople in 1453 is remembered through a re-enactment, exhibitions of traditional Turkish arts, parades and fireworks.



International Istanbul Music Festival

Formerly known as the Istanbul Festival, this cultural event is held every June and July. It offers a selection of classical music, ballet and opera featuring famous artists from all over the world.


International Jazz Festival

The Jazz Festival is the youngest of IKSV's festivals. It was developed to encourage jazz music in Turkey through highlight local talent along with jazz artists from overseas. It isn’t a pure jazz event as other forms of music is included, such as rock, soul and R&B. 




Victory Day

Some main roads in Istanbul are closed during this day of parades commemorating the victory over the invading Greek armies during the War of Independence in 1922.



Istanbul Biennial

Held every two years (see International Theatre Festival), the Istanbul Biennial creates a meeting point between artists from diverse cultures and the audience.




Republic Day

This national holiday celebrates the declaration of the Turkish Republic on 29th October, 1923. The day sees parades, public speeches, and other organised events. There is also a firework and laser show on the Bosphorus Bridge.



Anniversary of Atatürk's Death

At exactly 9:05 am on November 10 life in Turkey comes to a one-minute halt as the Turks pay their respects to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. He was the founder of Republic of Turkey. This isn’t held in silence as many drivers use their car horns to mark the moment of Atatürk’s passing.

Conferences, speeches, and exhibitions about Atatürk are held throughout the day.






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