Turkey: anti-Santa campaigns heat up as Christmas arrives

"Muslim, return to yourself!"

24 December, 16:49

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, DECEMBER 24 - A Muslim youth group and a neighborhood authority led two separate anti-Santa campaigns on the eve of Christmas in Turkey, as daily Hurriyet online reports. The Istanbul University branch of a group called Anatolia Youth Association (AGD) released an illustration of a Muslim youth punching Santa Claus in the face and announced that it would make a press statement against Christmas on December 26 in Istanbul. The group announced the event with a statement titled "Muslim, return to yourself!" adding that "Christmas is a Christianity practice." The group also criticized the celebration of New Year's Day, saying that the two dates were "mixed" and "united." It claimed that celebrating Christmas and New Year's Day was "wrong" and constituted "a blow dealt to Muslimism." Earlier this week, the Sirinevler muhtar, the head of the neighborhood, hung a banner making it clear that Santa Claus was not welcome on their streets. "As in recent years, Santa Claus will not be coming to Sirinevler since he is nothing to do with our traditions and our culture," muhtar Galip Karayigit said in the statement. "(Turk legend character) Dede Korkut will come to our houses again, and will teach our children that they did not come into this world for pleasure, that they came to distribute justice." (ANSAmed).

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