Turkish official: I thank you in advance for not exposing your children to Christmas or New Year’s celebrations

This was produced by Islamic site with appropriate name “System of Life.” See more at: “Prohibition Celebrating Kuffar Festivals like Christmas”

Bartın is a small and lovely Black Sea coastal city. It is only about a three-hour drive from Ankara. The town was in the headlines this week with a rather interesting SMS message from the provincial education director: Don’t let your children fall prey to infidel propaganda.

The Black Sea region of Turkey is often considered the most conservative, nationalist region of Turkey. The murder of Hrant Dink by a boy from the Black Sea region, attacks on Catholic priests and the fact that the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has almost no presence throughout the region testify to the nationalist and religious conservatism of the area. Yet, in this age, I would not expect a local education director go to the extent of condemning Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations as Christian propaganda and suggesting parents to save their children by not allowing such events.

“I want to make an appeal because of the approaching New Year” the director said in his message. He described Anatolia as a “99 percent Muslim land,” and condemned Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations as “incompatible with the traditions and customs of the people of Anatolia” and appealed to families to “save” their children at kindergarten or primary school ages in awareness that “New Year’s Eve celebrations are Christian propaganda, I thank you in advance for showing national sensitivity and not letting the subconscious of your children be occupied by such Christmas or New Year’s Eve celebrations.”

This was a message from a provincial top education official that somehow made the news. How many other shallow local and central government top bureaucrats share identical positions, but do not make the news, I have no estimation. Yet I am afraid the problem is not an “isolated exception” to Bartın…