Attacks On Christians In Turkey
Posted 20 July 2005 - 09:04 PM
In what could be growing into a trend in Turkey, individuals belonging to vigilante groups in the last six months have threatened Protestants and have attacked their places of worship.
The media has also been increasingly critical of missionary activity, according to a recent report by Compass News. Also, some government ministers have accused missionaries of being politically motivated to "damaging the social peace and unity" of the nation.
In a government-approved sermon at Friday prayers in Islamic mosques in March, the government warned that Christian missionaries were "pursuing political agendas" to "deceive and convert" people.
The report cited several other attacks, including "sound bombs" equivalent to 150 firecrackers placed in front of doors of a Gaziantep church in April, and acts of vandalism at a protestant congregation in the Black Sea city of Samsun where numberous eggs were thrown at the building.
In April a firebomb caused $10,000 in damage to the International Protestant Church in the capital of Ankara.
After the attack, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara issued a warning noting an "up tick in threats and vandalism ... occurring during a period of increased focus by the Turkish media and government on "missionary activity in Turkey."
None of the cases ended with death, but a near miss was cited when three young men bound an American named Wilbur Miller and his family, threatening to kill them, before the family was spared and told to leave the country immediately. It was not clear if investigations by local police and the U.S. Embassy resulted charges or conctions, the report states.
Christians are in a position where they fear to report the attacks, according to Compass.
Pastor Ihsan Ozbek, chair of the Alliance of Protestant Churches in Turkey told Compass that it was necessary to bring those issues to the attention of officials, so that those who threaten could be caught.
In Turkey, the Protestant community is tiny, estimated to be about 3,500 Christians, in 55 locations of worship and 40 known house fellowships, according to Compass. Non Muslims in Turkey represent just 0.2 percent of a total population of about 70 million. Other Christian groups include members of the Greek and Armenian churches.
Turkey is now known to be an ''example for the Muslim world''. Ironically, more than 99% of Turkey is Muslim, and such event doesn't improve its' reputation in Europe.
And these Turks are demanding their rights in the West?
We Armenians should take advantage of this information, and show that Christians are STILL persecuted in Turkey.
Posted 20 July 2005 - 11:04 PM
Posted 21 July 2005 - 06:40 AM
Even Erdogan is ''moderate'' Islamist.
Edited by Dave, 21 July 2005 - 09:01 AM.
Posted 01 May 2018 - 09:01 AM
ISTANBUL—An Armenian Church in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district was the latest target of racist vandalism in the city this weekend.Photos of the graffiti and trash social media and various Turkish news outlets on the morning of April 30 (Photos: Ayse Gunaysu Facebook page)
Photos of graffiti reading “This homeland is ours” spray-painted on the exterior wall of the Armenian Surp Takavor Church and a pile of trash dumped in front of the church’s door began circulating on social media and various Turkish news outlets on the morning of April 30.
According to the Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos, church officials said that an individual had come to the church a day before and had exhibited suspicious behavior during a church service. Upon examination of CCTV footage, church officials believe that the same man was responsible for the graffiti and trash.
The video recordings have since been handed over to authorities and an investigation has been launched, according to the Agos report.
“Erzurumlu 25″—a possible reference to a historical event—was also spray-painted on the wall. The Erzurum Congress, an assembly of the Turkish National Movement held in 1919 in the city of Erzurum, took place in the hall of the former Sanasarian College building—a well-known Armenian language higher education institution, which partially burned in a fire in 1925. Several social media accounts exist with the username “Erzurumlu 25.” (Note: Erzurumlu in Turkish refers to someone, who is from the city of Erzurum)
The Kadıköy Municipality condemned the incident as a “racist attack” in a Twitter post, saying the necessary work has been initiated to clear the writing and remove the trash.
This is not the first incident, in which Armenian institutions have been the target of graffiti and vandalism in Istanbul in recent years. In 2016, the exterior walls of the Bomonti Mkhitarian Armenian School of Istanbul were vandalized with anti-Armenian graffiti recently. “One night, we suddenly will be in Karabagh,” read the graffiti in Turkish.
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