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Is Turkey doing enough to protect its Protestants?

Turkey's small Protestant community feels threatened not only by detractors, but also by the Islamic State, and lacks government protection against either.
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For Turkey’s tiny Protestant community, 2015 was a year marked by threats and attacks against their churches and leaders. A report by the Protestant Churches Association on human rights violations documents a series of attacks and obstacles that Protestants faced over the course of last year, including physical attacks and verbal harassment. Judicial authorities showed no compunction to respond to their complaints about such offenses. In addition, the government excluded the community from its meetings with religious minorities. In the words of community leader Ihsan Ozbek, Turkey’s Protestants are today an “anxious and distressed” community. 

As a testament to the community's standing, on the door of the local Protestant church in the city of Balikesir, someone posted a piece of paper bearing the words “Turkish Islam Alliance” and painted “Allah is one” on a wall of the building. In Samsun, a stick-wielding man showed up at the door of the Agape Church, shouting obscenities and threats, and in Ankara, a man insulted and struck the leader of the Batikent Church. In Izmir province, an assailant opened fire on the pastor of the Torbali Baptist Church as he and his family worked in the field at his farm. The complaint the pastor filed with the police yielded no action being taken. The same went for complaints lodged following the other incidents.

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