Thursday, May 3, 2007

Turkey on my mind

- and not the Thanksgiving dinner kind.

Perhaps my mind is seeking some sort of diversion (you would think my family could provide enough), but I am astounded by how many times this last week that the country of Turkey has come to my attention. I have not been seeking it out, but it has come up nonetheless.

First, I regularly read the Six In The World blog (http://www.sixintheworld.com/) because I think it is fascinating reading about this family's adventures as they spend a year traveling the world. Their current postings are on their stay in Turkey, and I have enjoyed hearing about the people, culture, politics & history. Both the family's posts and some comments left by others have brought up the country's current struggle between secular and Islamic controlled government, and the history behind it.

Second, I was emailed a very disturbing story about three Christians who were tortured and killed by Islamic extremists two weeks ago in Turkey. Here is a website showing their pictures and telling a bit of the story (http://www.compassdirect.org/en/display.php?page=news&length=long&lang=en&idelement=4836).

Third, both yesterday and today Yahoo news has had headlines regarding some serious political battles between those who want to uphold the country's constitutional mandate that the government remain secular and those who want the country to be controlled by Islamic parties (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070503/ap_on_re_mi_ea/turkey_elections). I find it very interesting that the Turkish military has warned that they will do what is necessary to defend the constitution, ie. defend secularism, but both the US and the EU have warned Turkey's military to not defy their civilian leaders. So, in essence we are telling them that if Islamic extremists are elected and appointed by the elected, they must allow it. Our separation of church and state is upheld by our courts, not our military. Turkey does not have that luxury.

I feel that what is happening in Turkey is very important. Turkey is surrounded by Islamic states, and is in the midst of an internal battle to become one or not. Christian missionaries and converts were tortured and killed by young men who said "We did this for our country" and "We did it for our religion (Islam)." Finally, I cannot help but make the connection to the fact that the seven letters John wrote in Revelations, during a time Christians were oppressed and persecuted, were to seven Christian churches, all in modern day Turkey.

3 comments:

keri said...

Wow, Laura. I rarely watch the news and didn't realize the political background of the martyr story. I appreciate your insights to this.
Love, Keri

Lance said...

Whew! I first thought this post was about me! - Lance

Lisa said...

Thanks for that post. I agree that all this is very important and something we should all be aware of, especially as Christians!