"Turkey's gift to the world
By K Gajendra Singh
If one drives from the Turkish city of Fethiye to Antalya, littered with hotels and resorts for millions of tourists who throng its Mediterranean coast, which was known as Lycia in ancient times, after passing innumerable ancient ruins, one reaches the town of Demre, known as Myra in olden days.
In the center of the town one will come across the Church of St Nicholas, the patron saint of children, sailors and the poor and one of the most popular saints in Christianity now associated with the celebration of Christmas. Many legends have been woven around Nicholas, who was the bishop of this church in the 4th century AD and where he died in 342. He was born in about 280 AD in the town of Patara, which the traveler would have passed about 100 kilometers earlier. "