(Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images)

Bulls center Omer Asik, a rookie from Turkey, was hanging around fellow countryman Hedo Turkoglu before the tip-off of the Bulls-Suns game last Wednesday. Both players were a part of a Turkish National Team that gave Team USA everything it could handle in the gold medal game of the 2010 FIBA World Championships.

Ironically, this meeting occurred a day before “Turkey Day,” which could mean that someone in scheduling at the league office may have pretty decent sense of humor. Or the Thanksgiving Eve clash could’ve been pure coincidence.

Unlike the United States, Turkey doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. There isn’t a Plymouth Rock in Istanbul, or any record of the Mayflower landing there.

However, the Turks do celebrate a similar holiday. It is called Şeker Bayramı (Holiday of Sweets) or Ramazan Bayramı (Ramadan Holiday).

Many in Turkey, which is a predominantly Muslim country, fast during the month of Ramadan in religious observance. Once Ramadan is concluded, Muslims worldwide celebrate a three-day feast that is a cross between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

However, in Turkey, it’s more of a cross between Thanksgiving and Halloween. Children reportedly go door-to-door wishing everyone a happy holiday in exchange for treats.

The month of Ramadan, which can fall during the NBA season, is not always a treat for Turkoglu. During that specific month, the Suns forward is only allowed to eat before sunrise and after sunset.

The rest of the day he has to fast.

“I try to do it but sometimes it’s hard because you travel and it effects you for the game,” Turkoglu said. “I try to always do it on my days off because it’s not as hard as the period of the games.”

Maybe an experiment should be conducted. What is more detrimental to one’s basketball game: fasting or overeating on Thanksgiving?

The jury is still out on that one.

  • http://Www.me.com Sssss

    I’m from turkey and only 30 percent of our people fast. I treid it once but it was almost impossible,, hedo should come of the bench from now on.

  • JAS

    Got nothing against Turk. was midly optomistic when he came to the Suns. Sorry, it’s early but it’s not going to work. At this point he has to be considered a bust. Amare was not saving this franchise by himself but if Warrick and Childress had been here last year odds are a championship banner would be flying at the Purple Palace.

  • Brian

    Turk is a very experienced player with great record, However, if suns transferred Turk instead of Amare, it is not a smart move. Turk plays as point guard, shooting guard and a small forward but he is not a number 4 or power forward. Suns can benefit a lot if they pass him to shoot 3-points during the game (not only 4th quarter) and also let him bring the ball while Nash is resting. Comparing him with Amare is similar to a comparison between Nash and Nowitzki.

  • hoze

    hya, this is hoze, from turkey. i feel disappointed 4 turk because he doesnt play well at all. Turk is a very experienced player with great record, However, if suns transferred Turk instead of Amare, it is not a smart move. Turk plays as point guard, shooting guard and a small forward but he is not a number 4 or power forward. Suns can benefit a lot if they pass him to shoot 3-points during the game (not only 4th quarter) and also let him bring the ball while Nash is resting. Comparing him with Amare is similar to a comparison between Nash and Nowitzki. so he loves ball and give him the ball. he knows what he does xx