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10/08/2019 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Turkish news reports that the courts have acquitted the Interior Ministry and Malatya governorate as faultless in the 2007 Malatya murders which left three Christians dead after a group of five men raided a publishing house.

The courts had initially ruled that this attack occurred because of hostility towards Christians. The case quickly became embroiled in political intrigue. Both the Interior Ministry and Malatya governorate were accused of neglect of duty, a charge which was upheld by the Administrative court in 2015. Both institutions were fined a total of 900,000 lira ($158,000).

However, the Interior Ministry successfully appealed to the State Council in 2017. Two years later, the Malatya Administration Court acquitted both the Interior Ministry and governorate. However, the families of the victims made an appeal. If they lose, they will be required to repay the compensation received with interest.

The situation is but one example of the complications surrounding persecution cases in Turkey. Many Christians look to the courts to protect their rights. But the case drags on for years—12 years in the case of Malatya. Even when it looks as if justice may be served, the high level government agencies can always interrupt the process. Indeed, this has become a strategy of the government as it tightens its hold across institutions and sways them in a more Islamist direction.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected]