It's very clear that while the Turkish Government might understand tourism and museums, they have no concept of the sacramental character of St. Nicholas' relics, which have been venerated for centuries where they are in Bari. Furthermore, if they had been left in Bari, considering the record of Turkish governments of the past with regard to the frequent persecutions of Catholics, it's unlikely these relics would have seen the 21st Century in their Myrna.
Turkey wants St Nick back
ANKARA - TURKEY will ask for the return of the bones of Saint Nicholas, who Father Christmas is modelled on, from their display in Italy, local media reported on Friday.
Saint Nicholas, from the modern-day town of Demre on southern Turkey's Mediterranean coast, is, according to tradition, the ancestor of Father Christmas, but his remains were stolen by Italian pirates in the 11th century.
'These bones should be exposed here and not in a town of pirates' in Bari, said Culture Minister Ertugrul Gunay, quoted in the newspaper Milliyet. 'If we build a museum in this town (Demre), naturally the first thing we will ask for are the remains of Father Christmas.'