The trial has begun of five men accused of the brutal murders of a German Christian and two Turkish converts midway through a Bible study on 18 April. See previous post.
The process is being viewed as a test case of how Turkey will protect the rights of its minorities at a time of fierce and rising nationalism.
Orhan Kemal Cengiz, the lawyer representing Susanne Geske, widow of one of the victims, said, â€˜Hatred towards missionaries has been actively cultivated’. He said the accused, all between 19 and 20, were typical of others who have been â€˜indoctrinated’. It was vital to find who is behind them to avoid further murders, he added.
Canon Ian Sherwood of the Anglican Church in Istanbul expressed the pressures faced by Turkey’s tiny Christian minority: â€˜You live in a world of shadows, looking over your shoulder all of the time’.
Source: The Guardian (24/11)