Istanbul, Turkey — Denial Day is Turkey’s most original and exotic holiday. Every April 24th entire nations gathers in festivities, fun games and of course denial. The family oriented holiday is over 90 years old and has become one of the most expected holidays of the year. Probably the closest to Denial Day among European holidays is April Fool day, and not because the two holidays are celebrated in April, but because people act like fools on Denial Day. To find out more about Denial day we decided to interview people on the streets of Istanbul.
“Denial Day is all about denying” says Tezer, 35 — “when you wake up in the morning you must start denying everything, even the most obvious facts. It’s really awesome to deny, I enjoy Denial Day a lot”
“When I wake up in the morning, my Mom asks me whether I’m hungry and I say I’m not” — was another answer from Rashida, a 6 year old little girl.
Traditionally Turks have cake on Denial day, but the trick is that after eating the delicious cake everyone must deny that it was horrible. “Denying my wife’s cake is yummy, is the most difficult part of Denial Day. On a usual day if I did that, she would refuse me sex for a month and my other wives would probably support her, but on this day I feel safe to criticize her”- says Rejep, 48.
The interesting part in Denial Day is that even the Government officials celebrate it. It would be hard to imagine Vladimir Putin calling Obama on April Fool’s Day and saying “Dude, the Police is towing away your car”, however it is very common for Turkish Presidents, Prime Ministers and other hi-rank officials to deny most evident things.
However there are few people in Turkey who refuse to embrace the spirit of Denial Day and simply call it pointless. Turkish parliament passed a special law against Denial Day violators, sentencing them to prison time. Turkish journalist Fazilet was sentenced to 12 years in prison simply because he couldn’t lie. “I don’t get the whole spirit of that stupid holiday, I think a journalist should always speak the truth no matter how bitter it may be for some politicians. It’s hard to survive in a Turkish prison, but if I do, I will still refuse to celebrate Denial Day.”
Denial Day celebrations and fireworks stop on April 25th, however Turkish Government chooses to continue the party. Turkish prime Minister Erdohan announced that the Government will continue festivities, because Denial Day helps them manipulate, business, history and even certain countries.