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Santa Claus, Noel Baba

Did you know that Santa Claus or St. Nicholas (Noel Baba in Turkish) was from Turkey?

St. Nicholas was born in 245 A.D. in Patara near Kaş and Fethiye (known variously as St. Nicholas, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Pere Noel) and died in 363 A.D. having spent his life in Anatolia, Asia Minor, Asian part of Turkey.

Son of a wealthy family and of good education, he devoted himself to mankind. Because of the assistance he rendered to those around him, St. Nicholas was known as the protector of children and sailors and to this day the legend of Father Chirismas continues to live as vividly as ever. As the Bishop of Demre, by his religious and social work, he solved the problems of the people in a humane way.

After he died he was buried in Demre, Antalya and a church was built there in his memory. In 1080 Italian pirates stole some of his bones and took them to Bari. In their haste they left a few behind and these are today on display in the Antalya museum.

The first father Christmas symposiom ever was held between 5-7 December 1983. This symposium is now held annually and is attended by people of religion and sciense from all over the world. At these symphosia and in keeping with Anatolia’ s St. Nicholas love of humanity, a call is made to people of different religions and beliefs for peace, friendship and brotherhood.

Merry Christmas! Mutlu Noeller!

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