Turkey’s president to protect minority religions
Barnabas Fund, 9 June 2020
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan will do “everything possible” to protect “members of other minority faiths”, following a recent attack on a church in Istanbul. Police are currently holding a man in detention on suspicion of carrying out the church attack.
Critics of the government say the rhetoric of the president has fuelled recent intimidation and violence against ethnic and religious minorities, including the fatal stabbing of a 20-year-old Kurd in Ankara.
Opposition MP, Tuma Celik, who is a Christian, said, “I don’t have evidence they (recent events) are an organised effort, but I believe they are the result of polarising rhetoric used by the most senior members of the government.”
Hostility towards Christians has worsened in recent years, as secularism has given way to Islamisation with the rise of Erdogan’s AKP.