LIFE

People across Turkey celebrate Eid al-Fitr

People across Turkey celebrated the first day of Eid al-Fitr on Friday, with many mosques packed for early morning prayers and people hosting friends and families at their homes.

The Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, has brought joy particularly to children, who receive candies and presents as part of tradition.

In Istanbul, some 2,200 police officers backed by helicopters are on duty to maintain peace and security during the holidays.

Thousands of worshippers were given breakfast and soup after Eid prayers in mosques across the city, and visitors thronged the beaches.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his Eid prayers at Marmara Ilahiyat Mosque in Istanbul and congratulated the Islamic World in a message released Thursday.

Erdogan also made a number of phone calls to his counterparts on the occasion.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim visited soldiers in Tunceli province and told them the 80-million strong nation supports them.

Ali Erbas, head of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate, extended Eid greetings and prayers for peace and happiness around the world.

Erbas said religious days like Eid al-Fitr "maintain and strengthen unity, solidarity, and fraternity".

In capital Ankara, Pakistan's Ambassador to Turkey Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi hosted a reception at his embassy.

Families also visited the graves of their loved ones.

International students who were not able to go home during the holidays found the opportunity to see how Turkey celebrates the holidays.

Also, many people chose to travel to their hometowns or coastal cities for vacations.

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