We regretfully didn't plan well in advance for the LONG (10 days off!) Kurban Bayrami holiday, which corresponds (roughly) on the calendar with Thanksgiving. Called the "Feast of the Sacrifice" in English, it commemorates the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience, before God intervened to tell Abraham he could sacrifice an animal instead. The meat from the sacrifice is divided into three parts -- the family keeps one third; they give one third to friends and neighbors; and a final third they give to the poor and dispossessed.
Most stores and offices were closed in Kayseri for an entire week; it was nearly impossible to make a reservation to get away -- buses and planes were jam-packed. So we stayed in Kayseri, where most things were closed. Did a lot of reading and net surfing and walking the fields. Remind me (or anyone) not to come to Turkey during this holiday.
In 2009, I spent this holiday in Alexandria, Egypt, where my sons and I were shocked by the animal sacrifices in the street. In contrast, the Turks designate sacrifices only in specific places, and generally by trained professionals. That makes the streets a little less bloody.
On our walk, we did encounter a very friendly family that invited us into their home for tea. We obliged, even though there were a lot of awkward silences until the daughter, who speaks English, arrived.