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Q:

Do Turkish people celebrate Christmas?

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In Turkey, they do not celebrate Christmas as a national holiday because Turkey has a secular constitution which guarantees all religious beliefs. There are no official religious holidays because of this.

However, Turkey residents do put up lights and trees to celebrate father Christmas.

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Turkish people do not celebrate Christmas as such, however they are beginning to put up Christmas trees and lights etc. This is only due to a trend, and does not signify a religious inclination. Turks do celebrate New Years Eve, pretty much like Christmas is celebrated over here: They will have a roast Turkey dinner with friends and family, and exchange gifts and cards. Although most Turkish people are Muslims, they are more relaxed about Islam than the rest of the Muslim countries as demonstrated by the facts that they do consume alcohol, some eat pork/boar, and most women do not wear the Islamic clothes. The trend for putting up trees and decorations is a relatively new one. I do not know exactly how this took off, yet I believe this is being seen these days as a build up to New Year's Eve. It is likely that it may also have commercial reasons. The idea of Christmas for the Turkish is not a throughly alien one: Santa Claus (Father Christmas) was born in Turkey and is called Noel ... more
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