Germany criticizes Christmas ban at German school in Turkey

Germany's Foreign Office has expressed irritation over a ban on Christmas celebrations and songs at a German high school in Turkey.

The German news agency dpa reported that the Foreign Office said Sunday it "didn't understand the surprising decision by the school's administration."

Dpa reported that the Turkish administrators of the Istanbul Lisesi, a German high school that was established more than 100 years ago, announced that Christmas traditions and the singing of carols would no longer be part of the curriculum.

The Foreign Office called the decision "regrettable" and said it would seek dialogue with its Turkish partners over the incident.

Some 35 German teachers work at the Istanbul school, which is subsidized with millions of euros (dollars) from Germany. The majority of the students are Turkish.