Turkey Targets Christian in North Cyprus

02/03/2021 Cyprus (International Christian Concern) –  An expatriate Christian living in North Cyprus had his home and business raided and his name slandered in Turkish media. Ryan Keating formerly resided in Turkey but was targeted for his Christian faith and activity and later moved to North Cyprus. Deportation is a common tactic used by Turkey to eliminate the presence of Christianity.

On January 27, authorities searched and seized Bibles and Christian literature in various languages after claiming that police were conducting an investigation regarding his business operating without a permit. A day later on January 28, a Turkish language newspaper, Kibris Postasi, published an article claiming that Keating was linked with Pastor Andrew Brunson. Brunson was wrongly imprisoned for two years on terrorism charges because of his faith. Kibris Postasi later changed the article to include another Christian living in North Cyprus.

Turkey’s vested interest in Cyprus predates its illegal occupation in the north since 1974. When Cyprus received its independence in 1960, Turkey signed as a guarantor state along with the United Kingdom and Greece. In the 1950s, Turkish propaganda began to justify its coming invasion and violent, criminal actions. This included falsely staging so-called crimes (such as the 1963 bathtub massacre) intended to incite anger towards the Greek Cypriot community, who are also predominately Christian.

Later, under the guise of protecting Turkish Cypriots from Greek Cypriots, Turkey officially invaded and has continued its illegal occupation on the island. Since its occupation, Turkey has engaged in the ethnic cleansing of Greek Cypriots and innumerable human rights abuses, violating the UN Charter, Geneva Conventions, the European Convention on Human Rights, and other international agreements.

For interviews, please contact Alison Garcia: press@persecution.org. 

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