Trial investigates 'deep' state conspiracy in Turkish Bible murders

The trial of the killers of three Christians at a Bible publishing house nearly two years ago in Turkey, is investigating the possibility that the murders were a “deep" state conspiracy, reports Mission Network News.

Turkish Christians, Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel, and a German missionary, Tilmann Geske, were tied up, tortured and stabbed to death in their Christian publishing house in Malatya, Turkey, on 18 April 2007.

The next hearing for the trial is to commence on 13 April and is expected to focus on the identities of the middlemen in the murders – those linking the actual killers with the ones who planned the murders.

Plaintiff attorneys have called in ten witnesses for the next hearing, including a former gendarmerie commander from the province and an Islamic teacher at a nearby university, according to Compass Direct.

The hearing has exposed a deep mistrust of Christians and their activities in Turkey. Between 1900 and 2000, the Christian population of Turkey declined significantly from 22 per cent to a mere 0.2 per cent.

Behnan Konutgan of IN Network said that “identity mistrust” was a problem in spreading the Gospel in Turkey. He said that there was a cultural assumption that to be Turkish is to be Muslim and that Christians are automatically foreigners.

He added that part of the problem is that many Turks get their ideas about Christianity from Hollywood. As a result evangelists must operate with care. While not illegal, evangelism is often viewed with suspicion in Turkey.