Turkey arrests another foreign church worker
Barnabas Fund, 30 October 2018
David Byle, who has lived for the past 18 years in Turkey, was arrested on 13 October during a routine ID check at an Ankara train station. After interrogation David was released the next day but ordered to leave the country within 15 days by Turkish officials. It is not yet known if David has left Turkey.
Over a period of eleven years, this is the fourth time that David has been arrested. The first occasion was in 2007 when police accused him of “missionary activity, disturbing the police, and insulting Islam”. The charges were dropped, but he was arrested again in 2009 and 2016.
Protestant Christians in Turkey report a rise in recent years in hate crimes and hate speech. Other Christians have suffered though incidents such as the confiscation of many church-owned properties. In February 2018, the European parliament expressed serious concern about the lack of freedom of religion in Turkey “including the increased discrimination against Christians and other religious minorities”.