Turkish political leaders issued messages, wishing a peaceful Christmas holidays for Christians.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has wished Christians peace, happiness and well-being on the occassion of Christmas, a statement issued by Prime Ministry's Press Office on late Wednesday said.
Davutoğlu said: "I celebrate the Christmas festivity of our Christian citizens and all Christians who contribute to our social life and with whom we live in peace, brotherhood and tolerance."
He highlighted the fact that the Anatolian soil had hosted the best examples of "co-existence culture" throughout its history, as a cradle of several civilizations.
"With the historical understanding we inherited, we -- then and now -- regard our citizens from different beliefs, opinions and cultures as [source of] richness for our country, and appreciate that they embellish our social life," he added.
The premier added that they wished to live in unity and solidarity with groups of different beliefs and culture -- who, he said, have lived together for ages on the same soil and shared the same destiny -- in the future as well.
Davutoğlu also wished the New Year 2016 would bring peace and happiness to all citizens of Turkey as well as to all humanity.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday: "I wish the Christmas festivity that our Christian citizens of different sects and churches celebrate, in accordance with their own beliefs, to reinforce a sense of unity and solidarity."
Describing Turkey as a "region nestling different cultures and beliefs in peace and brotherhood for ages", Erdoğan described Anatolia as a "basin of civilization where marginalization has found no ground".
"Being opposed to all kinds of discrimination and racism, we consider the presence of different religions and cultures as a richness, in line with the values of our civilization," he added.
The president also stressed that it is a "matter of pride" for Turkey to be a place where all citizens maintain their lives "confidently regardless of their religion, belief or ethnicity".
Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, wished a merry Christmas holiday to all Christians - especially the Christian citizens of Turkey - expressing the hope that it will help bring happiness and peace to all humanity.
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