Greeks celebrate Christmas in Turkey with festive Istanbul rally

25 December 2015
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Members of the Greek minority in Istanbul marked Christmas on Thursday by taking out a celebration rally on Istiklal Street, Beyoglu (Pera), where they sang their traditional carols “Kalanta” and handed out sweets.

Dozens of Greeks gathered in front of the 19th century Greek school, Zografeion Lyceum. They then marked to the Consulate General of Greece.

Anadolu Agency reports that Diamandi Komvopoulos said: “Christmas is important for us because it is the birthday of Jesus.”

Kristina Mincinikof, 14, a student at Zografeion School, said: “During Christmas, I like to be with my family and get a chance to see my relatives who live away from us.”

Ozcan Sabudak, deputy manager of the Zografeion Lyceum, says that about 2,500 Greeks still live in Istanbul.

In his message to Greeks, Turkish President Recep Tayyipo Erdogan described Turkey as a “region nestling different cultures and beliefs in peace and brotherhood for ages”, adding that the Anatolia region is a “basin of civilization where marginalization has found no ground.” Stating that, he wished Greeks in Turkey a Merry Christmas.

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