Santa chased, converts to Islam in anti-New Year celebration demonstration
As the show proceeded, Santa was brought to face a qadi, an Islamic judge in the Ottoman era, after he was caught by the janissaries, the Ottoman elite infantry units.
The act, staged by members of the nationalist-Islamic Grand Unity Party (BBP) in the province of Bolu, highlights anti-New Year’s Eve celebrations sentiments in Turkey, where the festivity is widely deemed to be associated with Christianity.
Turkish media have reported education authorities in some districts of Turkey have sent notices to schools banning New Year’s Eve celebrations.
This year’s demonstration comes after a similar one by the BBP last year, in which Ottoman janissaries chased Santa on the streets and then took him before the sultan. The sultan then banished Santa from the city.