German school in Turkey defuses Christmas 'ban' argument

An argument over whether German teachers at a school in Turkey can teach their students about Christmas appears to have been resolved after reports of a ban drew criticism from German politicians.

The Istanbul Lisesi school's German department has 35 teachers from Germany. News agency dpa on Sunday cited an email to German teachers saying its Turkish leadership had ordered there should no longer be any teaching of Christmas traditions.

The school denied any ban but said some German teachers had addressed Christmas without answering students' questions satisfactorily. On Monday, dpa reported the German department's leadership mailed German teachers after meeting with the school's Turkish heads saying there's "no ban on discussing 'Christmas' in teaching."

German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said Monday he was confident "misunderstandings" could be resolved.