Those of us living in Britain and Cyprus will get an extra hour in bed this weekend, when the clocks go back for winter. Daylight Saving Time (DST) will officially start at 2am on Sunday, 31 October 2021.
While many parts of the world observe DST, Turkey no longer does. As a result, on Sunday the clocks in Turkey will remain the same, creating a three-hour time difference with the UK, and an hour’s difference with Cyprus.
The practice of DST is over 100 years old. The idea was first introduced by a British builder called William Willet, who in 1907 published a pamphlet called “The Waste of Daylight”, in which he argued that it was important to adjust the time during points in the year to make better use of valuable daylight hours, especially in the winter.
The intention of DST is to start the day with more light, which is important for northerly territories such as Scotland where dawn can arrive as late as 10am.
Even though DST means that in winter, the dark evenings start earlier, around 4pm by December, research shows it is safer to have more light in the mornings, resulting in fewer road accidents for example.
While there is good logic to DST, some countries feel the practice of requiring the clocks to go forward in the spring, and fall back in the autumn is confusing.
Many countries in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, including Turkey, have stopped DST entirely. The European Union is also considering ending the practice.
In March 2019, the European Parliament passed a proposal to end DST from 2021 onwards. It remains to be seen if Member States will implement this though.