Turkey Forces Another Christian Out of Country
10/27/2018 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Canadian-American Christian David Byle has left Turkey after being ordered to leave the country following his arrest on October 13. He was arrested just one day after American pastor Andrew Brunson was released from prison and allowed to return to the United States. After a five hour police interrogation, Byle was told he must leave the country but would not be issued a re-entry ban. While Byle has left Turkey, his family remains in the country.
Byle has been arrested on numerous other occasions because of his Christian activities. In this instance, he was initially arrested because he lacked a valid residence permit. However, he had been staying in the country legally because of a temporary court order blocking a previous court order that called for his deportation.
As a result, Byle could not legally be deported until the higher court reviewed his case and gave a final ruling. In the end, he left the country on October 25th with a citation saying that he overstayed his expired residence permit.
Turkey’s convoluted legal system has left many Christians in a challenging position. Technically, the law protects missionary activities and allows Christians the free practice of their faith. Protestants, however, are not automatically recognized as a protected religious group.
For interviews with Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.