Clerics Angered at Continued Attacks on Christians in Turkey

The church where Serkek, who was attacked after Easter Eve Mass, serves as pastor

ISTANBUL (Hurriyet Daily News)—Christian clerics in Turkey expressed their anxiety regarding the growing threats they face in wake of an attack against Pastor Semih Serkek of the Holy Grace Protestant Church in Istanbul on April 7.

“Attacks against Christian clerics drop off for a while, then they begin to re-energize. [Such attacks] have begun to accelerate again in recent days. We hesitate when opening our doors and welcoming the faithful inside,” Pastor Krikor Ağabaloğlu of the Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church in Istanbul told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Three unidentified individuals attacked and beat Serkek on the night of April 7, immediately after an Easter service. “They were three people around the age of 18. They wore [prayer caps] on their heads. They forced the door open and said they were going to kill me unless I recited the ‘Kelime-i Şahadet’ [Islamic confession of faith]. I received a severe blow to my chest,” Serkek told the Daily News. The attacks were not coincidental, according to Serkek, who had also served as a mentor to the three victims slain in the Malatya Zirve Publishing House incident in eastern Turkey.

Pastor Orhan Picaklar of the Agape Protestant Church in the Black Sea province of Samsun also said he has been living with a personal escort 24 hours a day for the past four years, since a plot to assassinate him first came to light. “Police [officers] keep watch at the door during mass; the believers are afraid to enter the church due to the threat to their lives,” he said.

The makeshift church, located inside an apartment building, also came under attack about a month ago, Picaklar said, adding that the congregation was chagrined at being stuck in an apartment. “[The authorities] gave the green light to the construction of a new church in 2004, within the framework of the European Union harmonization laws, although with the pre-condition that it must be no smaller than 2,500 square meters. We have no budget. We appealed to establish a church building 1,000 square meters in size, but did not receive approval for it.”

Ağabaloğlu said that in the case of his church, the state intentionally refused to grant permission for the construction of a church building. “They are trying to stymie the spread of Christianity in this way.”


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  1. peter megerdumian said:

    It is a joke that some in the European Union are stupid enough to want the entry of Turkey into the EU such as the Swedes (their prime minister has money invested in Azerbajian oil projects) , Italy and Spain. The nerve of these bastard Turks amazes me where they complain that Germany forbid them to build the world’s tallest mosque in Germany yet they have the right to persecute and kill Christians in their own country.These mongol savages will never change.Once a rapist, always a rapist.

  2. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    This letter should go UN not for us…
    People should know about them….Those Turks are not Muslims…
    According to Islamic Religion never accepted…But this is old theory in Turkey
    They are destroyers of civilization…
    One incident happened like this in Gulf and they were not threatened by all islamic writers…
    it was only that one MP mentioned The Christian churches should be removed from Islamic lands
    And all honest writes in most famous news papers attack the M.P …
    It seems in Turkey the government behind it…
    As they killed Hrant Dink …They want to kill more…1
    Very easy for them…They enjoy and praise who killed…!

    • Tatul Sonentz-Papazian said:

      R E Q U I E M
      In memory of Hrand Dink

      king of this
      boundless universe
      master of all bygone
      present and future times
      of sin and redemption
      conflict and harmony
      nativity and demise
      righteous judge of
      Abel and Cain…
      pray hear our

      Glance back
      behold the slaughter
      of the endless caravans
      of that very first parish
      of Your Son’s ministry
      of faith hope and charity…
      the silenced martyrs of faith
      in a crucified Prince of Peace
      and his message of peace
      on earth and good will
      toward men…

      Glance back
      and behold once more
      with Your all-seeing eye
      the baptism of the orphans
      in the blood of their widowed
      mothers felled as burnt offerings
      to a jihad of jackals and wolves
      on the butchered and charred
      bodies of the last of their kin
      the children of sacked Eden
      land of Noah’s lofty haven —
      the sacred mountain where
      Your rainbow of harmony
      appeared in the heavens
      as a solemn promise
      of peace…

      And behold —
      in the city of Constantine
      in the muted shadow of
      the captive temple of
      Your Holy Wisdom
      a clear righteous voice
      of concord love and justice
      is now silenced as a gray wolf
      howls at a crescent moon
      waning with each shot
      in a sky the color of
      innocent blood…

      ————–TATUL SONENTZ

    • bosnian radical said:

      they were never christians nation in gulf arabia if you come visit bosnia you cant see any church nor cross where are bosnians population more than terroist nation serbians and albanians also like us they more radical but they have connection with kosovo turks and bosnians brother against christians always..1453-1461 sylva md poetry your relgion not true yours know taste of jihad and serbians during the yugoslavia civil war.

      • christo said:

        beware of Christian Jihad. mathew 10:34, Luke 22:36, and many more verses in the bible. We as Christians know when and how to eradicate cancer cells like yours. By the way, you should use pigeons to communicate, the internet, computers, the web are inventions of the west, as a radical bosnian you should emulate your illiterate prophet and communicate the way he did back in arabia.

  3. hayko yesilkoyluian said:

    every time I said its not for Turkey christians lives in a unsafe in bosnia kosovo turkey pakistan egypt syria iraq lebanon palestina malaysia indonesia kazakhstan uzbekistan very normal if they want bright future they must get something afford.I am saying these as a turkish-armenian soon will move canada

    • Alex Postallian said:

      May I congragulate you, in moving from that sewer turkey,into a beautiful country,like Canada.You wont have to practice those SCARED EYES,anymore.

    • Arsu said:

      i was very upset in 2001 due to the financial problems in turkey and moved to Europe. I still live in Europe but decided to go back to Turkey. You need to think about it carefully. You will most probably have great disappointment once you have settled in as our roots aren’t here and you will feel isolated most of the time. Canada must be no different

      • christo said:

        and I’m sure you get great financial compensation from your host “european”country, and live like a king in RoT. Must have been handed a copy of While Europe Was Asleep.

      • hayko yesilkoyluian said:

        arsu you should be insane and triator you will be like turkish citizen armenian who is change armenian name to turkish name for sell 2kg more gold and nackle ring in the grand bazaar for turks ?

  4. Norin Radd said:

    Typical Turkish behavior and mentality of racism and fascist ideology. And this nation of fascist and xenophobes is supposedly our good “U.S. ally”. Where is the criticism from the west for their Turkey? Maybe instead of hassling Syria, we should take a closer look at how are own supposed “strategic allies” are treating their populous.

  5. Satenik said:

    Welcome to “secular” Turkey. Turks may succeed in deceiving some Europeans and the USA with displaying their “progress” but Turkey has got a long way to go in order to be a safe place for christians . This is not a rare incident and the International newspapers should publish this article in their newspapers so they can’t pull the wools over their own people over and over again, glorifying Turkey and Azerbaijan as “friendly” and “safe” countries. Don’t kid yourselves, face the facts and make up your own minds. Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians know how it is living in Turkey, now try telling this to Obama who just can not bear to utter the word genicide, just in case he upsets Turkey!

    • S.Y said:

      Look, to all Dashnak racists. These incidents were done by AKP and MHP goons, who are pretty much laughed at by true pro-Turkish nationalists myself. We all know you Dashnaks are trying to divide Christians, Jews, Kurds, Alevis to go against Turkey. But it will fail. I am 1/2 Levantine Catholic of Turkis Descent and I support defending Turkey against PKK Terrorists, and territory-demanding, warmongering, genocide peddling Armenian Supremacists and Greek Megali Faschists. I support unity in the RoT and the RoT won’t be divided by imperialists, period!

      • S.Y said:

        I am also 1/2 Alevi, but I am non-practicing as well on that sidee too.

    • hayko yesilkoyluian said:

      22 million european american visited Turkey this year I would to like send them this article when they again think to buy ticket from antalya or kusadasi hotels

  6. Tatul Sonentz-Papazian said:

    D E P R O F U N D I S . . .
    in memoriam IV/XXIV

    Our Father,
    who are and were in Your heaven
    when your children were led to slaughter
    like so many herds of sheep or cattle,
    hallowed be Thy name,
    for some of them survived
    and to this day wait for
    Your Kingdom to come
    and Your will to be done on earth
    as it is in Your heaven, where a million
    and a half of your children — our late kin —
    after a stay of nine decades in Your House
    still await justice for their affronted
    martyrdom in a forest of crosses
    raised where not a tree grows
    and only the unredeemed
    blood of martyrs flowed
    irrigating the sands
    for a new crop
    of swords…

    Give us this day, oh Father, something
    other than our daily dread
    of denial and despair…
    and forgive us our trespasses – as you shower
    those who trespassed against You and us
    with ill-gained bounty and boundless power
    over all that once walked tall in your shadow
    and now grovel on the face of this earth,
    this lone planet, whose dust and ashes
    — in Your very own blessed words —
    the meek shall inherit someday…
    after time and space, light and
    darkness have long been forgotten…

    And… oh, yes! Lead us not into temptation, Lord,
    lest, offending Your chosen people, we covet
    retribution or – may God forbid — even justice…
    but deliver us from the evil of false witness, for it distorts,
    demeans and tarnishes the divine power,
    and the glory of Your Kingdom
    forever and ever…


    Tatul Sonentz

  7. ara said:

    Hey as always-cowards and women and child rapists and beaters- that is their MO-the military and their so called religion which is how they run their decadent civilization-there are many good people there-but the leaders and dumb followers of their idealogy is sick-so sick-they fool no one-they took are butchers-but we r smart

  8. Stephen T. Dulgarian said:

    The continual harrasement by the Turks of our Armenian Churches must stop and as a suggestion on this last attack on the Protestant Minister, that since they are under Grace Protestant Church, they should ask for International help & pressure on the Turkish Government to stop this harrasement of Armenians, whether they are of the Apostolic faith, the Protestant faith, or the Catholic faith. We must ask help from the outside.

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