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"I will hold Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." - Charles Dickens.

Valentines Day should be every day of the year

Christmas Traditions Around the World

    Christmas in Turkey


    In the Turkish town of Demre, Santa Claus or St Nicholas birth is celebrated every year during the three-day festival held in early December. Born in the nearby town of Patara, St Nicholas is remembered not only as a famous Turkish archbishop, but also for his kindness to children.

    This statement is completely false. Turkey is a laic country where all religions are respected. Turkey has many groups of various religions, and everyone is completely free to perform their own religous rituals. Historically Anatolia is a land where Muslims, Christians and Jews live in harmony - a rare thing in the world - even today, as it was hundreds of years ago.

    - from Seray Savaskan

    *****Please note that I have received many different opinions on this so I will inlcude all comments from these people above or below.******

    I write you this email from Turkey-Istanbul. I work as a professional Tour guide.I have been to Patara and Myra where st.Nicholas was born and lived. These towns are in Turkey and I dıd not see in your web smt related with Turkey.You have mentioned about russia,greece and russia but only ASIA MINOR??? I would appreciate more if you have written These towns are today in Turkish Republic. - from Hakan Kutlu

    First of all, Turkey is a [supposedly] secular country, and therefore, Christmas, a religious holiday is not tolerated.

    Second of all, there can be no such entity as an Archbishop of Turkey, as your text indicates. An Archbishop is a Christian term, and Christianity is NOT allowed in the country.

    Third and most important of all, is that during his lifetime, expecially at the time of his birth, Nicholas was born in Myra, or the Lycia region of Anatolia. The traditional name of the city was changed to whatever the modern Turks chose, as part of their ethnic cleansing in their larger program, after 1922, of their ongoing attempt to purge the remnant of the Ottoman Empire, of all Christians. This period of BLACK history known as the Armenian Genocide. The ottomans' need to change the names of cities was necessary to erase their guilt at having attempted to exterminate an entire race of people, namely the Armenians, but also Greeks and Bulgarians, and other Christians. Therefore your name of the very historically important city is erroneous.

    Nevertheless, Nicholas, was Bishop, not Archbishop of Myra, in the 4th century, before any such thing as a Turk was even conceived of.

    - from Sophia Manoulian Kugeares Clearwater, FL USA

    on the website is VERY incorrect ... It is NOT ILLEGAL to practice Christianity in TURKEY ... please change your website .. it is what I want for Christmas

    Thank you

    - from Katie

    Your site on Christmas around the world is fun and informative but you urgently need to correct the section on Turkey. This is not one of those "in dispute" topics, it is simply wrong.

    The assertion that being a Christian in Turkey is illegal is absolutely false.

    Turkey's secular constitution, which was brought in by the nationalist reformist Kamal Attaturk, actually guarantees all religious belief and practice, not prevent it. Because it is a secular country there are no official religious holidays, but all communities are free to practice and enjoy their festivals. If you go to Istanbul and to Christian villages in the south and east you will find churches and Christianss celebrating Christmas everywhere.

    I have celebrated both Christmas and the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Adha in Turkey and believe me, there was nothing illegal about those celebrations.

    Jerome Taylor Reporter The Independent

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