Slander, Blasphemy & Censorship

Turkey Seizes Churches for “State Property”

The move damages historic Christian communities while masking Turkish war crimes.

BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | April 18, 2016

Michael van der Galien reports that self-described Islamist Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has moved to seize six churches in Turkey.  The move comes amid charges that the Turkish army has fired on these religious buildings during its war against its native Kurdish population.  The attacking of religious buildings is a violation of the laws of war, although it can be excused if the buildings are being occupied by hostile forces as a base for staging attacks against legitimate military units.  Turkey’s seizure of these buildings makes an independent investigation into those questions much more difficult.

It also deprives the tiny Christian community of some of its most precious remaining resources.  One of the churches is 1,700 years old, making it older than the Islamic religion itself.  A Turkish police official associated with the seizure is reported to have said, in praise of the seizure:  “Sultan Alp Arslan’s grandchildren will bring the unbelievers of churches to the faith.”

Victoria Coates, a foreign policy adviser to the Cruz campaign, says that the seizure fits a wider pattern.  “What’s happening in southern Turkey is all too typical in the Middle East today, as ancient Christian communities are displaced and persecuted by sectarian violence,” she said.  The Turkish government is far from alone in carrying out these attacks.  The Islamic State (ISIS) has targeted Jewish and Christian communities for genocide and slavery, and has also destroyed historic buildings and relics in violation of the laws of war.

Nevertheless the Obama administration and members of Congress have been quiescent.  A new monograph asserts that this is because of the influence of a group called the Gulen Movement, a Turkish sect that is allied with President Erdoğan and that has funded hundreds of trips for Congressmen to Turkey.  It is also engaged in setting up charter schools across America for the education of young Islamists in line with the Turkish President’s self-proclaimed political philosophy.

In addition to war crimes and ethnic cleansing of Christians and Kurds, the Turkish President has also been engaged in overturning Turkey’s protections for free speech and free inquiry.  Academics in Turkey have been rounded up or fired for expressing dissent with the government’s brutal policies.  Over the weekend, however, the German government moved to arrest a prominent satirist who was critical of Erdoğan.

The lights are going out in central and eastern Europe again.  This time it is in the service, not of communism or fascism as before, but of Islamists.


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