TURKEY: “After Malatya…” dossier presented to Turkish Embassy in Dublin

Yesterday in Dublin, Tom Slattery (Director of Operations, Evangelical Alliance Ireland) and David Turner (National Co-ordinator, Christian Concern for Freedom of Conscience) presented a dossier to the Turkish Embassy titled
“After Malatya…”

It summarised the following issues of concern to Christians in Turkey:
Anti-Christian propaganda in newspapers and television
Comments by government ministers and local officials
Ongoing difficulties of small, independent congregations in obtaining registration
Trial of Hakan Tastan & Turan Topal for “insulting Turkishness”
Arrest of four Christians in Istanbul on 25 April for “missionary activity”

The dossier was received by Ms. Gulseren Celik (First Counsellor, Turkish Embassy) who discussed the issues raised in the dossier which had been prepared in consultation with Turkish Christians in the aftermath of the murder of three Christians (Necati Aydin, Ugur Yuksel & Tilmann Geske) in April at a Christian publishing house in Malatya, southeastern Turkey.

Ms. Celik responded by presenting two statements (from the President and Interior Minister of Turkey) that strongly condemned the Malatya murders. Tom and David expressed their appreciation of these statements. David moved on to state that evangelicals in Turkey were concerned about the unchallenged anti-Christian propaganda in the Turkish media which had fed hostility to Christians and led to attacks against Christians.

The cordial 45-minute meeting ended with Tom and David underlining the request that a Turkish government representative meet the Alliance of Protestant Churches of Turkey (the representative body of Turkish evangelicals) to discuss these areas of concern.