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ICC Note: This is from a Christian pastor who rails against the culture of hate in Turkey. He correctly points out that religious freedom is non existent and false propaganda is spread to target followers of Christ. Excellent!
Protestant Pastor: Secular Turkey? Enough Mockery!

4/26/07 Turkey (For the full story, go to AsiaNews) Speaking to AsiaNews a Protestant Pastor outlines the situation in Turkey, where the “secular” State only counts for Christians, while the mass media all too often make use of, indeed even promote, a campaign of disinformation and defamation.

In this case too, the Malata governor Ibrahim Dasoz’s immediate reaction is highly significant; he maintains that it was “not an attack” but rather the result of “internal clashes” within the publishing house, while media reports seek to place responsibility at the door of the deceased whom they accuse of “distributing” Bibles, an activity regarded as proselytism and thus were “enemies of Turkey”.

Even the Turkish Minister for Religious Affairs, Mehmet Aydin, recently declared that those who practise proselytism “divide the nation”. This is the testimony of a Pastor who for obvious reasons will remain anonymous.

“Where are we? I am disgusted by theses atrocities which seem to repeat themselves again and again with ever increasing violence, in a country which promotes itself as a secular and democratic majority Muslim nation.

But where is the respect for differences, for the religious and ethnic minorities present on the territory? We were almost used to the continual background slander and accusations of proselytism, of giving out money and faith, we were almost used to being ladled as “infidel Muslim grabbers”, who – poor things – allow themselves be brainwashed by us, convinced by a mere handful of dollars hidden in a Bible. But we never could have imagined that all of this would have led to such an atrocious gesture, prepared in the name of God, carried out against Christians”.

Today, Turkey cries out at the shocking scandal, against the nightmare of religious hatred which persists, yet no-one is courageous enough to really take a stand, to condemn not only this religious hatred, but also the mass media which with great subtly and cunning continues to brainwash people with propaganda which incites them to believe that we are evil, that we want to wipe them out, to take away their faith and turn them from their beliefs in the God of Mohammad.

Is it not perhaps the opposite? They tell us that since the era of Ataturk the construction of places of worship have been banned, and for this we are not authorized to open new churches, only there where there is already a Christian presence (usually foreigners), but the mosques sprout up like mushrooms all over Turkey.

They tells us that , once again due to Ataturks’ laws, we cannot run courses of Christian formation, seminars, nor – taking into account what happened yesterday – can we produce didactic materials to educate or inform Christians. Why, I ask, does no-one speak out against courses on the Koran which are held each summer in public schools for children?

Let us begin to admit in all honesty and transparency who is behind the murders, which for over a year now, have been plaguing the nation of Turkey: after don Andrea Santoro, Hrant Dink, and our three Presbyterian employees, whose turn is it next?