Turkey has begun forcing foreign Christians to leave

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Foreign Christians are being told to leave Turkey and others have been barred from re-entering the country, Morning Star News reported Sunday. Rights advocates have said the Turkish government seems to be purposefully aiming such actions against Protestant Christians.

According to rights groups Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and Middle East Concern (MEC), some 35 Christian workers received this treatment from the Turkish government in 2019. These workers included foreigners who have lived in Turkey for decades and own property there.

MEC notes that workers may not even be informed of the ban until they are out of the country and are trying to return. Their passports are stamped with an “N-28 Code,” which indicates special permission is required for re-entry. An MEC researcher quoted in Morning Star News explained: “Those who have tried to obtain [approval for re-entry] have been refused, making the code essentially a de facto ban.”

Moreover, MEC said, workers who have tried to challenge the ban in the administrative court have found that their lawyers are denied access to Turkish intelligence reports. Advocates are appealing to the constitutional court and, if necessary, to the European Court of Human Rights.

Turkey is home to some 10,000 Turkish Protestants in a general population of over 84.3 million, mostly Muslim, residents. There are around 170 churches that mostly minister from homes. Raising concern about government targeting of foreign Christians, CSW told Morning Star News: “This will deprive [Turkish Christians] of support and make them feel isolated and abandoned.”