Leaders of the world issue their Christmas messages
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
World leaders celebrated Christmas with messages of peace and love .Pope Benedict XVI ushered in Christmas for the world’s 1.3 billion Roman Catholics on Dec. 24, urging humanity to see through the commercialism of the season and rediscover the real significance of Jesus’ birth.
The 84-year-old pope, celebrating the seventh Christmas season of his pontificate, also implored that those marking the holiday in poverty, suffering or far from home not be forgotten.
At the start of a Christmas Eve service, he was wheeled up the central aisle of St Peter’s Basilica standing on a mobile platform which he has been using since October.
Meanwhile, in a message issued on the occasion of Christmas, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey’s residents continued to live together as equal citizens and in unity.
“We have lived on this soil together by sharing a common destiny and history and displaying tolerance, respect and understanding for each other,” he said. “I believe that the spirit of unity and the climate of mutual love and respect will become stronger in the future. With these thoughts, I wish all Christians a Merry Christmas in tranquility and in peace.” Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek said Dec. 24 that he hoped days like Christmas would contribute to universal peace, love, tolerance .