santa links to original article
(Hürriyet Newspaper, 29 December 2011)
An investigation has been initiated concerning the müftü (religious affairs
chief of a district) of Keşan district, Süleyman Yeniçeri, who said the
following: 'There's no Santa Claus. There's a St. Nicholas but he's made-up.
Santa Claus enters a house through the chimney or the window. But an
honorable person comes in through the front door.' The Religious Affairs
Ministry has ordered the Edirne provincial müftü's office to investigate
the matter and a decision concerning Yeniçeri will be made based on the
Meanwhile, the mayor of Demre, Süleyman Topçu, has sent a message
to the müftü, saying 'I'm inviting the müftü to our district so I can tell
him about the history related to St. Nicholas, who was a real person.'
Topçu added that 'St. Nicholas was the child of a well-to-do family. He
would throw gifts down the chimney or through the window without
letting on who had given them. I wonder if the müftü who says that
St. Nicholas wasn't honorable is himself honorable.'
The Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ertuğrul Günay, made the
following comment about the Keşan müftü while he was in Antalya:
'One of our friends has spoken about something that is beyond his ken.
There's an old saying in Anatolia 'don't bother with fools, pay heed to
the scholars' (or something to that effect). He (Yeniçeri) did something
on his own. The person known the world over as Santa Claus was born
in Patara and lived in Myra and Demre. There is information that he
was St. Nicholas. We don't want to diminish this knowledge because it
plays a role in acquainting people with our country.'