Middle East Concern requests prayer for the trial of the men charged with the murder of three Christians in Malatya in 2007.
12/15/2011 Turkey (Middle East Concern) – Over recent years we have requested prayer following the murders of three Christians (Necati Aydin, Ugur Yuksel and Tilmann Geske) at the Zirve Christian publishing house in Malatya, Eastern Turkey, in April 2007. Five men, aged 19 and 20 at the time, were arrested at the scene, were charged with the murders, and have been held in custody ever since. Their trial opened in November 2007 and became complicated as a result of efforts to identify those behind the perpetrators.
A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, 16th December. Some understand that verdicts and sentences might be issued at this hearing.
Under Turkish law, those accused cannot be detained for more than five years if they have not been formally convicted and sentenced. Therefore, some fear that delays beyond April 2012 will lead to the perpetrators being released.
Recall that in March 2011 the chairman of the panel of three judges was promoted to a higher court, thereby ending his participation in this trial. There were concerns that the judge replacing him would take time to become familiar with the complexities of the case, which might cause further delays. Hearings since then have been brief with no significant developments.
Turkish Christians request our continued prayers that:
1. Family members and friends of the Malatya victims will continue to know the peace of Jesus as the trial process continues
2. Justice will be done concerning the perpetrators, and that all those behind them will be identified
3. There would be renewed international attention towards the Malatya trial
4. All those who aided or perpetrated the murders would have a deep conviction about what they have done, and understand the depths of Jesus’ forgiveness
5. The judges, other officials, lawyers and journalists involved will hear the gospel of Jesus, feel the Spirit’s conviction of sin and be drawn to the Father’s love, forgiveness and acceptance
6. All Christians involved will know the Spirit’s enabling, equipping and assisting as they persevere in their efforts to promote justice
[Middle East Concern]