Minister of State Maria Böhmer issued the following statement on 19 December:
“I have followed the discussions on celebrations of Christmas at Istanbul Lisesi with incomprehension and great concern. Istanbul Lisesi is a key element of German school education in Turkey and is also an important traditional place that imparts education and German culture to Turkish pupils.
It therefore goes without saying that Christmas as a Christian festival of charity, of hope and peace, which is a highlight of the year in Europe and in many parts of the world, is especially important. I consider any attempts to restrict preparations or festivities in connection with celebrating Christmas to be wholly inappropriate.
I expressly welcome the fact that those in positions of responsibility have agreed to take an appropriate approach to the Christmas festival, which involves making it part of the curriculum as well as celebrations at and outside the school. I hope that this has helped to achieve a common understanding for the future.”