Culture Religion Turkey

Christmas impressions from İzmir

28. December 2015

I know I am late with this subject. But as long as they play Christmas music here at the airport of İzmir (and they do!) I am fine with that. You should, too.

So I came to Turkey on december 24th and expected a country without any Christmas decoration. I mean regarding the fact that there are officially 98% Muslims living in this land.

I got disappointed. It started at the airport of İzmir where I found this in the baggage claim section:

To take this picture I even went a loop way on my to the exit. With a 21 kg backpack on my back. This is my Christmas present to you. You should be thankful.

Then I was surprised when I walked the streets of Alsancak, a quarter of the district Konak in central Izmir. The main shopping and entertaining street looked like this:

2015-12-24-23.51.58_800x450Okay, this could be just normal decoration. There is nothing written about Christmas so maybe the red color is just a coincidence.

But when you see this angel with a trumpet you know the whole decoration is actually about Christmas:

2015-12-24-23.55.06_800x450Although they would never admit that as it is a country with a strong Islamic culture. So they “pretend” all this stuff is there to celebrate upcoming New Year’s Eve:

The writing in this decoration says something like “Happy New Year Konak”. Konak is the district in the historic center of Izmir where this decoration is set.

I don’t know if this counts as Christmas decoration, too, or more as vandalism:

By the way, I know there is a guy in Izmir who sleeps on bus shelters at night. It is true, I have seen him with my own eyes. But I did not take a picture to show some respect.

By the way, I know there is a guy in Izmir who sleeps on bus shelters at night. It is true, I have seen him with my own eyes. But I did not take a picture to show some respect.

Even on TV they show you how to tinker Christmas decoration. In this case a snowman:

Although Turkey resp. Izmir does not know snow. It must be the influence of imperialistic US.

Another Christmas decoration, seen in a snack bar in Bornova (another district of Izmir where all the students live):

This Christmas decoration has all the important season values: a tree, Coca Cola and a truck. Or a bike. Whatever. You know what they mean.

Even at the bazar there was something light Christmas lights:

Even

Looks like the shape of a Christmas tree. It’s the thought that counts.

And this what Izmir airport looks like just at this moment as I write these lines:

Maybe even US airports do nothave Christmas decoration of this size due to politicial correctness.

Maybe even US airports do nothave Christmas decoration of this size due to politicial correctness.

But Christmas also has its dangerous sides:

I was added to a Whatsapp group of young Muslims disccussing what their religious rules mean for their daily life. So normally, it is about what food contains parts of pork. But sometimes, I could also believe to watch a djihadist group building up.

I was added to a Whatsapp group of young Muslims disccussing what their religious rules mean for their daily life. So normally, it is about what food contains parts of pork. But sometimes, I could also believe to watch a djihadist group building up.

But let’s end with a last picture that says something nice: “Happy New Year 2016” with a bit of Christmas decoration:

Do you see the Santa Claus? Just one picture earlier you have learnt that "Santa Claus" actually stands for: SATAN LUCAS! Happy holiday.

Do you see the Santa Claus? Just one picture earlier you have learnt that “Santa Claus” actually stands for: SATAN LUCAS! Happy holiday.

tl;dr
This is only what I have seen in Izmir. And Izmir is called to be the “most European city” in Turkey. So maybe there is less Christmas decoration in other parts of the country.

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