Turkish president wishes Merry Christmas to Christians
In a Christmas message, Erdoğan highlighted the role of Turkish tradition as well as the "utmost care" in the country to ensure that nobody was discriminated against based on "race, language, religion or denomination".
"We attach great importance to all our citizens freely practicing their cultures, religions and traditions," the statement said.
Stressing that Turkey has been the peaceful home of different cultures and traditions for centuries, Erdoğan said this reinforces the "unity and solidarity" among the county's populace, who view such differences as a "valuable asset".
"We remain committed to building a common future in this geography by living together in peace," he added.
He said that the Turkish people "put first" mutual respect, justice and freedom of religion.
Erdoğan expressed hope that Christmas would lead to a strengthening of "solidarity and mutual respect" and wished a Merry Christmas for the Christian world.
For Christians, Christmas marks the birth of Jesus Christ.
One of the most significant celebrations in Christian culture, Christmas Eve is observed by most non-Orthodox Christians on Dec. 24 every year.