Monday, July 13, 2020






Let's move over to a country that shares a border with Iraq: Turkey.  Amberin Zaman (AL-MONITOR) reports:

Mark Alan, a retired schoolteacher from Fort Collins, Colorado, is something of a late developer. He was 42 when he "came to faith” and 65 when he married for the first time, with Duygu, a Protestant convert from Turkey. “It was love at first sight,” Alan, now 73, recalled in a telephone interview with Al-Monitor. The couple settled into a comfortable life in the Aegean port city of Izmir. “I always felt safe in Turkey, I had a real heart for the Turkish people,” Alan said. Then in a single day, their whole world fell apart. Alan was on his way back from the United States last June when he was pulled aside at the airport by Turkish police and told he was banned from entering the country ever again. “They didn’t explain why,” Alan said. He insisted that he had no role in the local church in Izmir where his wife served as a book keeper.
Alan is among more than 50 foreign Protestants, including Finns, Germans and South Koreans, who have been summarily banned from Turkey as recently as June 26 on the grounds they present “a threat to Turkey’s public order and public health.” Some 26 are US citizens.
The wave of deportations began soon after Andrew Brunson, a pastor from North Carolina, was freed from a jail near Izmir in October 2018 after serving two years on outlandish terrorism charges linked to the failed July 2016 attempt to violently topple Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The evictions are continuing full throttle and tearing families like Alan’s apart.
On June 5 of this year, Joy Anna Crow Subasiguller, the American wife of a Turkish pastor in Ankara, was notified by Turkey’s Interior Ministry that her residence permit was not being renewed. She was given 10 days to leave. No reason was offered to the 39-year-old mother of three. She is still breastfeeding the couple’s 4½-month-old daughter, Derin Mercy.
“I am sad at the prospect of my family having to leave our home, my husband’s precious family, and our friends and church family,” Subasiguller told Al-Monitor. She is appealing the decision in a Turkish court. Subasiguller has lived in Turkey for the past 10 years. She said she expected an answer within one or two months. Similar appeals have all been rejected.

Is Turkey being unreasonable with regards to religion or is this about spying?

Missionary is often a cover for spying.  In the US, I became acquaintances in July of 2014 with a woman we'll call M.  She was and remains a nice person.  Her older brother does "God's work."  He does it in places that seemed rather strange to Ava.  I shared with Ava that there was no way M's brother was a missionary, he was most likely a spy for the US government and to be careful of what she said to M in case M's meeting us was not a chance event.  The brother being a spy was confirmed six months later when M's younger sister let that fact slip out.  

So this could be Recep Tayyip Erdogan's latest bout of religious intolerance or it could be his attempt to address foreign spying on his country.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has plunged his country into a series of economic, political, and military crises. As he becomes unable to justify his mistakes and to push his dubious designs—which include the reviving of the Ottoman Empire, playing the Sultan, and using the Muslim Brotherhood to that end—he points fingers at countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, accusing them of directing “black propaganda” against Turkey.

AL-MONITOR notes, "In the next three years, Erdogan said, Turkey will be an unstoppable power in the region."  Does that happen by attacking Iraq?  Turkey has been bombing Iraq and has sent foot soldiers into the country in violation of international law and Iraq's national sovereignty.  The Turkish government loves to issue announcements claiming that they've killed X number of terrorists but they've yet to issue an announcement -- or apology -- when they kill civilians.  The true terrorist is the Turkish government.  RUDAW reports:

Turkish artillery pounded Bedihe village in Duhok province on Saturday, causing damage to civilian homes and lands, a local official told Rudaw.

"The bombing started around 6pm. They have so far targeted the village with six mortars, causing damage to 10 households," Sarbast Sabri, head of nearby Kani Masi town in the Amedi region of Duhok province, told Rudaw. "The artillery has also damaged groves and orchards of locals in the area."

Iraq faces many problems -- problems that appear to indicate they need a better prime minister than the one they have.  AP reports, "Iraq’s Prime Minister took a first step on Saturday to combat cross-border corruption that has long plagued the country’s frontiers as part of a reform plan to grapple with unprecedented financial shortfalls."  Since May 7th, Mustafa al-Kadhimihas been the prime minister and, again, the corruption predates him becoming prime minister -- by nearly two decades.  ARAB WEEKLY points out, "Every Iraqi premier has pledged new measures to fight corruption but few have been able to make a dent in the deep-rooted practices across the public and private sector."  His talk about ending corruption comes after his promise to hold the military members who have killed protesters accountable.  How's that going by the way?

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