Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Turkish Mufti : Santa Claus would use front door if he was a decent person

A common point of discussion in Turkey is to talk against celebrating Christmas, because it has the potential to convert people to Christianity. A local religious leader had some funny commentary on this:

"The Muftı of Kesan ( a small town in NW Turkey) is the order of the day in Turkey with his statements on Santa Claus.

Süleyman Yeniçeri (the last name means Janissary in Turkish) is hot topic in Turkey, after the mufti stressed his opinion about Santa Claus and the adoptation of Christian Christmas and new year habits into Turkish and Muslim Life. The brilliant statement of Yeniçeri was : ”New year celebrations are not part of our (Turkish) culture. There is no person as Santa Claus. There is one Saint Nick, yes, but he is merely a fabrication. It is yet not clear if santa or Saint nick has ever lived or not. Santa Claus uses chimneys or windows to enter homes. If he was a decent person, he would use the front door.”

The brilliant mufti continued :” Why are we trying to impersonate the Christian lifestyle. Do they [Christians] try to copy our ways of living ? Christmas and New Year Celebrations are imports from Christian World. Christmas is not our rejoicing or holiday. Koran says do enter using the front door.”

Though most Turks are Muslim and do not celebrate the Christmas Holiday, they nevertheless are well aware of the famous gift-bearing Saint and know him fondly as “Noel Baba” (Father Christmas). The ritual of gift-giving around the Christmas season has caught on as a tradition in many Turkish households and among friends and usually occurs on New Year’s Eve rather than on the eve of December 24th. Christmas trees too abound in cosmopolitain cities like Istanbul with small replicas for sale at major department stores."

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