All us residents of Fethiye and district are, or ought to be aware, that Santa Claus was born at Patara.

Santa : A Life by Jeremy Seal

All us residents of Fethiye and district are, or ought to be aware, that Santa Claus was born at Patara near Kalkan.

Actually he was Nicholas then, the ‘Santa Claus’ nickname came much later.

Local guides would have us believe that Nicholas spent his novitiate at Af Kule near Kayakoy, but there is absolutely no evidence to confirm this and Jeremy Seal doesn’t even mention it in his book.

He does write about Nicholas’ birthplace and his later term as Bishop of Myra, which led to the church dedicated to him that is still visited there today See our article last week).

Seal goes on to follow the gradually evolving myth of Santa from his death c.350AD to the theft of his remains from the church in Myra by Italians in the eleventh century – who could well have called in on Gemiler Island en route to Italy (yet another local connection) – and continues to the present day via the invention of the red-cheeked, white bearded figure all kids adore.

An appropriate book for this time of year, and one which has a healthy connection with Turkey.

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