Friday, 1 January 2016

Members of Turkey’s far-right Great Unity Party (BBP) have staged a sequel to their 2014 anti-New Year’s celebration skit wherein Santa Claus becomes a Muslim after learning there is “no room for barbarism” in Islam. 
In a skit performed on northwestern Bolu’s central İzzet Baysal Avenue, a party member dressed as Santa began to distribute New Year’s gifts to passersby before being caught by Janissaries. The “Santa” was then brought before the “kadı,” a Muslim judge in the Ottoman Empire, impersonated by former BBP Bolu provincial head Mahmut Alan. 
The judge asked Santa what he was doing, and learned he was celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ by wearing red and consuming alcohol. After Santa argued the public was also content, the judge symbolically asked two people from the public and learned that they indeed found the celebrations agreeable. 
The judge released Santa, after understanding the public was not coerced into celebrating. 
Surprised to be told there was “no room for barbarism” in Islam or among Turks, the fake Santa then decided to convert to Islam. 
The skit was a sequel to the BBP’s protest ahead of New Year’s in 2014, when a Santa was symbolically chased out of the city by Janissaries upon a the orders of a “sultan.” 
“Citizens are celebrating because they consider New Year’s as entertainment and not as Christmas,” said Alan. “They [Christians] do not celebrate our holidays, why should we celebrate theirs? It’s interesting and we staged a play to warn the public,” he added.
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