“No more Christmas celebration and/or lessons on Christmas including carol singing is permitted, effective immediately”. An email on 13 December sent to about 35 German-funded teachers at Istanbul Erkek Lisesi (also known as Istanbul High School) saying that the National Ministry of Education had communicated that no more of these activities should take place.
That Turkey is the homeland of the real ‘Santa Claus’ is an irony largely lost on most media: St Nicholas, who secretly left gifts for poor children, was in fact Bishop Nicholas who lived in c.300 AD in Demre (formerly known as Myra), in Lycia, Southern Turkey.
Church history teaches that Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea, close to Istanbul, where 300 early Church Fathers agreed on their core beliefs as followers of Jesus Christ. It’s the teaching of these beliefs that now appears to be being challenged.
German broadcast media Deutsche Welle (DW) reported that the school management denied that they banned celebrating Christmas. However, DW reports the school said that German teachers have recently been “talking about Christmas and Christianity in a way that was not foreseen by the curriculum.”