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The Turkish army is closely monitoring
the activities of Christian organizations in Turkey

by Savvas Kalenterides


Everyone is familiar with the suspicion that the Turkish authorities have towards the inhabitants of the Turkish state, when it comes to matters that pertain to particular ethnic, cultural and religious expressions.  It is a suspicion that is attributed to the objective conditions that prevail in Turkey, where the ethnic and religious homogenizing of all Turkish citizens has been achieved through genocides, ethnic cleansing and attempts for a forceful ethnic and religious assimilation of groups with different ethnic and religious identities.  Apart from the Kurdish issue - which is by far regarded as the most important issue that has been preoccupying the Turkish state and the Kemalic system – the next big headache is the religious re-orientation of the inhabitants of modern-day Turkey.
    According to the assessments of the Turkish security authorities, the next major threat to the “uniform and indivisible status of the Turkish nation and state” is the observed activity by a large number of missionaries that has been observed during recent years throughout the Turkish state. In fact, some of these assessments converge on the conclusion that in the event that the Turkish state does not intervene decisively on the activities of these missionaries, there is an inherent danger that 30% of the population of Turkey will be Christianized within the next few decades.
    The immense communicatory counter-attack by the Turkish state towards the activities of foreign Christian missionaries began about three years ago, when İlker Çınar - former parish priest of a Christian church in Tarsus of Cilicia and later as a repented perpetrator - had issued statements that confirmed the accusations regarding the disruptive activities of foreign missionaries in Turkey. According to the Turkish authorities, Çınar did not limit himself to simple statements; he also gave lectures in various cities in Turkey, by which he attempted to sensitize Turkish public opinion on the threats that the Turkish state was confronting on account of the activities of the missionaries.  Along with Çınar’s informative campaign – and again on the basis of this repentant priest’s testimony and “revelations” – hundreds of articles and analyses were published in the Turkish Press, in order to project the issue of the “Christian threat” to Turkey’s unity.  Following these revelations by Çınar and the subsequent fanaticism displayed by Turkish public opinion, we learnt of the assassination (on the 5th of February 2006) of the Roman Catholic priest Santoro of the church of Santa Maria in Trebizond, and about a year later (18th April 2007) the slaughter at Malateia where three people (among them a German) were murdered after being subjected to horrible tortures by five young fanatic Islamists who – as proven during their hearing in court (their case is still being tried) – had close ties with certain officers and employees of the Command for Unorthodox Warfare of the Turkish Armed Forces. 
    It was recently discovered that Çınar was also a permanent petty officer of the Turkish army’s Intelligence and that in the capacity of his mission duty, he had infiltrated the core of the church in Tarsus, gained the confidence of its missionary sector, was ordained a priest, and when “the time was right”, he defected and promptly proceeded to denounce the disruptive and anti-national activity of the church and its missionary role.  In recent statements, Çınar said that he belongs to the army’s land forces and that he is an inseparable part of the corpus of the Turkish state.

Article published in English on: 9-8-2008.

Last update: 9-8-2008.