Every year, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, thousands of drummers take to the streets of Istanbul in the dark of night.
Decked in Ottoman era attire, the Ramadan drummers wander the streets to wake up residents for “sahur” — the last meal before a day of fasting that begins before sunrise.
Umit Kurt is one of the thousands of drummers who continue to perform the centuries-old tradition.
"I want to continue this drumming tradition because it comes from our ancestors and the Ottomans."
"It belongs to the past, but it should continue in the future," he says.
After he beats his drum and sings poems extolling the holy month, apartments light up for the time of sahur.
The holy month of Ramadan commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.
TRT World's Kim Vinnell met with a Ramadan drummer for this report from Istanbul.