President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan highlighted the importance of diversity and tolerance in a message published on the occasion of the Hanukkah holiday, celebrated by the Jewish community.
In his message, Erdoğan said that Turkey attaches great importance to ensuring that all citizens freely practice their faith and traditions, regardless of their race, religion or language.
He noted that Turkey values the celebration of different cultures and traditions and that the acceptance of such diversity contributes to mutual respect, love and unity throughout the country.
"With these emotions in mind, I congratulate the Hanukkah holiday of all Jewish people, including our Jewish citizens whom we have been living in peace for centuries" Erdoğan said.
On Saturday, Turkey's Jewish community marked Hanukkah as a public event in the history of the Republic of Turkey for the second time.
Hanukkah is celebrated by Jews worldwide for eight days and nights and falls on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, which coincides with late November to late December on the secular calendar. In Hebrew, Hanukkah means "dedication," as the holiday celebrates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Jewish victory against the Seleucid monarchy in 165 B.C. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional food, games and gifts.
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