“As members of a deep-rooted civilization, which regards differences as richness, and refuses to make a distinction between religion, language and race, it is of great importance for us to ensure each and every one of our citizens’ liberty to practice their faith,” Erdoğan said in a written statement.
He also added that Turkey has actualized reforms that removed all obstacles standing in the way of freedom of religion in the last 17 years.
“We did not let anyone be marginalized based on their faith, appearance and attire. We have never given way to the climate of tolerance in which 82 million people live in peace, been tainted in the hands of racist, discriminatory and extremist groups,” he said.
“In these exceptional days celebrated with these thoughts in mind, I extend my congratulations to the entire Jewish community on the occasion of Hanukkah and wish them wellbeing and happiness,” he added.
Hanukkah, also known as the “Festival of Lights,” commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt in the second century B.C. This year, Hanukkah will be celebrated between Dec. 22 and Dec. 30.
Hurriyet Daily News