Thursday, December 30, 2004

Turkey is a lucky country

One of the few optimistic things I've every read from a Turk about their country.

"Comparatively, Turkey is improving. There are certain deficiencies and we need to do a lot of hard work, but Turkey is on the right road.

We need to think about this as we enter New Year. There is no need for pessimism.

Just go and see the real Turkey. You’ll be able to see this country’s real potential. Wherever I go in the Middle East, Far East, Africa or Latin America and whomever I talk to, I hear the same words: “You are a great, strong and lucky country.”

How lucky we are!"

Turkey is a lucky country

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Turks welcome lira reform, but expect confusion over zapped zeros

"As Turkey prepares to launch a new currency in 2005 in testimony to its successful fight against chronic inflation, many Turks greet the reform with approval but are also apprehensive about possible confusion as people get used to the new money."

"Our purses will finally grow lighter," Muazzez Avci, a 58-year-old housewife, said. "And no one will laugh at our money again."

"For Turks, the zero-ridden Turkish lira became a source of national shame as a symbol of economic failure as they juggled with wages measured in billions in a country with a budget calculated in quadrillions."
Turks welcome lira reform, but expect confusion over zapped zeros

My Neighbor should be from Different Religion

"Bigoted imams and preachers who consider Islam and terror a combined thing and representatives are singled out and whereas previously all Islamic nations were put in a single basket, now there is a different attitude towards Algeria and Turkey. Islamic representatives who hate the West are now a problem and because of them they are for the first time curious about what Islam says."

"Religion is passing through a world wide renaissance. Becoming secular does not have an opposing concept and is a natural process. The reestablishment of religious views is the problem of today as faiths are gaining meaning gradually all over the world. This is a fact which has deep roots and effects over hundreds of years."

"Saying that today belief is not important goes against the lessons of a bloody history. Belief can be independent only if your neighbors have different religions. It is necessary to accept the fact that Turkish Islamic understanding has been in practice for hundreds of years with its philosophical and theological foundations that were developed in the midst of other religions..

Today the idea that religious people must be reactionary has been weakened in the world. "


'Turkey is too Big for EU'

One of the latest conspiracy theories:

" Turkish Greater Unity Party (BBP) leader Muhsin Yazicioglu says that the real goal of the European Union is not to make Turkey a full member but to break it into pieces.

Yazicioglu says that the EU is trying to split Turkey into parts, as it is too large for them and said that that's why they put in clauses about the so called Armenian Genocide, Cyprus, Aegean region and minorities."


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Church in Captivity 2004: The Ecumenical Patriarchate

The Eastern Orthodox Church faces continual persecution in Turkey. This was brought to light recently when the US Ambassador used the title Ecumenical Patriarch on an invitation to a party he sent out.

"The government of Turkey insists that the office of the Ecumenical Patriarch must be held only by a Turkish-born citizen, even though a more qualified candidate may be found among the plethora of educated Orthodox clergymen worldwide thus leaving the church at times without the brightest and the best. This is like saying that only an Italian can be Pope of Rome."

"Ignoring the pleas of the United States and the E.U. to reopen the Halki Theological School, Turkey has closed the last Christian Theological school left in Turkey. This means that clergymen may no longer be educated by the exceptional standards of the famed Patriarchal school of Halki."

"We heard the Muslim call to prayer in this supposedly secular country, but Christains are not accorded the same rights or more importantly respect."
Hellenic News of America

Monday, December 27, 2004

The Turkish Experiment with Westernization By Habib Siddiqui

Al-Jezeerah's website offers their reason why Turkey's experiment with being a western European country is bad. Some of what he says really makes the opposite arguement. It shows me why they don't want Iraq to be a democracy.

"The history of westernization in Turkey portrays the features characteristic of this movement everywhere else, only perhaps more clearly."
The Turkish Experiment with Westernization By Habib Siddiqui

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Where East still meets West

"COME WALK through the ancient streets of Istanbul in the cool days of an approaching winter. There is a bit of snow on the ground, and the sun dances on the Bosphorus, that narrow body of water that traditionally separates Europe from Asia."

"There was a day when Istanbul coursed with different religions, nationalities, and sects, and the streets were filled with the babble of a dozen tongues. For this was the capital of one of the world's great polyglot empires, and Istanbul was among the world's most cosmopolitan cities. But with the fall of the Ottomans and World War I, all that ended."

"One has to look to London and Paris now for the same diversity that Istanbul once stood for. The end of empire for Europe meant the influx of those over whom the Europeans once ruled. But in Istanbul most of the vibrant minorities went elsewhere. That a few remain at all, however, says something for this city and this country in a region where tolerance is in such short supply." / News / Boston Globe / Opinion / Op-ed / Where East still meets West

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Christ was out of Christmas a long time ago

In Turkey, all the secular traditions of Christmas (Tree, Santa, gifts, decorations), have been grafted onto a made up New Year's Holiday, but I bet most Americans could walk through a mall here and look at the decorations and think it was to celebrate Christmas.

We live in the largest solely Muslim nation in the world and yet December looks much like a lot of America. The pictures you see here are from Turkish sites celebrating the new year.

"The painful fact is that Christmas is already secularized in the United States, and it's been that way for a long time."

"Just look at the Christmas symbols. You don't see Baby Jesus' smiling face on Coca-Cola cans. That honor belongs to the undisputed king of American Christmas: Santa Claus."

"If ever there were a case of a religious symbol being secularized, Santa is it.

Originally, Santa was St. Nicholas, a fourth century Turkish bishop known for his charity. His feast day, which was widely celebrated in Europe, is Dec. 6 — close enough to Christmas to establish him as a holiday figure, in his case that of a kindly fellow who hands out goodies to children.

The St. Nicholas tradition was brought to the United States, although there was one problem with him in a largely Protestant country: He was a Catholic saint.

So over the years, St. Nicholas' Catholic vestiges were stripped away. Clement Moore's immensely popular 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas," now better known as "The Night Before Christmas." established him as a mythical figure complete with a reindeer-powered sleigh. His priestly garments were redrawn as a distinct red suit and his name morphed into Santa Claus, or just Santa.

There's nothing Catholic — or religious — about Santa now. He's some sort of jolly elf."

Christ was out of Christmas a long time ago

Evangelical Leader calls for Referendum on Turkey's Controversial EU Bid

"The chairman of the National Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, has made a call for a referendum on Turkey’s proposed membership into the European Union. Bishop Wolfgang Huber, in Berlin said, "I believe a referendum on that would be the right thing."

"Turkey’s population consists of 99% Muslim, and although these historical entry talks are set to begin, EU officials have been careful to point out that the commencement of the entry talks would not guarantee that Turkey would eventually join."

"The Orthodox leader’s lawyer said, "A secular state should not get involved in religious affairs."

Bartholomew and twelve other senior Christian leaders were charged in the predominantly Muslim yet secular country, and were apprehended with the rare charge of "preventing others from observing faith and conducting religious services". The charges could have led to a five year imprisonment."
ChristianToday > Evangelical Leader calls for Referendum on Turkey's Controversial EU Bid

Monday, December 20, 2004

Religious tolerance in Turkey a key in talks with EU

"Erdogan, who is described as a devout Muslim, is anxious that Turkey cast its future with a secularized but historically Christian Europe. And Turkey has undertaken a number of human-rights reforms, including abolishing the death penalty and acting to rein in torture, along with political and economic measures. But the long scars of history and the short fuses of contemporary events threaten the effort."

"Certain basic rights, especially religious freedom, are not fully respected in Turkey, despite the reforms undertaken,"
Winston-Salem Journal | Religious tolerance in Turkey a key in talks with EU

Turkish tradition vs. Western values

Much of Turkey is changing and becoming more modern, but the conflict between old and new has caused many a generational divide. This conflict affects all young people who turn to Christ as well. Pray for these young Christians who face persecution, abuse, and disownment from their families as a result of their choice to follow Christ.

This story illustrates the differences in the old and the new view of things.

"A runaway personifies Germany's multicultural debate"

"She is 18 years old, living in a shelter whose address cannot be disclosed because she escaped from her Turkish-born parents. The reason, she said, was that they were threatening to kill her unless she agreed to marry a man from Turkey whom she had never met."

"She said that her would-be betrothed was wealthy and therefore able to pay a big price for a bride who also would allow him to gain a German passport and German residency."

"Shortly before she turned 18, Jasmin said, her parents found a wealthy Turkish man whom they wanted her to marry. She refused. There were arguments. One day, her parents showed up at her workplace, threatening to kill her if she did not leave with them."
Turkish tradition vs. Western values

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Turkey struggles to civilize the national `traffic monster'

" Turkey may be a democracy, but anarchists control the streets.

A stoplight is just a suggestion. The direction on a one-way street is determined by whoever has the biggest bumpers. It's a matter of size and prestige; imports take precedence over local brands, and an SUV always trumps a sporty Mercedes."

"This isn't to say there aren't rules. Tired of waiting in a traffic jam? Follow local custom: Pull into the oncoming lane and act insulted when confronted by honking vehicles coming from the opposite direction. See a friend standing on a sidewalk? Stop and park in the middle of the road and stroll over for a chat. Missed your exit on the highway? No problem: Back up.

The problem is worst in Istanbul, the cultural and commercial capital, where streets are narrow and a driver's license can be purchased for $100, no experience required. The everyday mayhem includes careening taxis and buses hurtling from stop to stop, often passing each other along the way like red-and-white elephants."

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Chicago Tribune | Turkey struggles to civilize the national `traffic monster'

Do we want the Turkish peasantry here?

"Fairness would demand that Turkey now be fully allowed into the EU - but alas, post 9/11, the issue is no longer fairness but the survival of European values of democracy, tolerance and freedom of speech."

"Within the EU, Sweden and Germany have received most Turkish immigrants - and most of them are not the cosmopolitan sophisticates of Istanbul, but are from the relatively backward communities of Anatolia."

"Moreover, with a religious culture that generally disdains contraception, abortion and women's "rights", the Muslim population will almost certainly grow disproportionately. Bernard Lewis, the pre-eminent British scholar of Islam, predicts that by the end of this century, Europe will be predominantly Muslim."

". . . in reality, the real problem lay - and still lies - elsewhere: in the possible freedom of movement of 73 million Turks, many of whom are illiterate, pre-Enlightenment peasants. To allow millions of such people to pour into the Europe would be cultural suicide."
Telegraph | Opinion | Do we want the Turkish peasantry here?

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Turks Ask God for EU Membership

"Turks try to initiate a deal with God for joining to the EU. According to interview by Turkish channel ATV, the Turkish pilgrims heading for Mecca (Saudi Arabia) will pray God for “helping the nation for EU membership”."

"When the reporter asked, most of the pilgrims said that they will be praying for Turkey’s membership to the EU. Surprisingly, there were no curses against Western world or the EU, contrary to stereotyped profiles of the Muslims advertised around the World. An important part of the pilgrims said the membership is vital and they will ask God to help Turkey. The remaining part of the Muslims told that they agree with their friends but they want this to happen if the membership will do some good for the Nation."
The Journal of Turkish Weekly

Friday, December 17, 2004

Turkey’s day of destiny

"This week, with Turkey’s entry bid to the European Union likely but not certainly to be given final approval, we cannot help but ask, "What is Europe?"

"It is Christianity that has provided the common morality and common identity that made talk of union in the late 1940s a possibility despite the wars of past times. The poet T.S. Eliot broadcasting on the BBC to a defeated Germany in 1945 declared that "An individual European may not believe the Christian faith is true; and yet what he says, and makes, and does, will depend on the Christian heritage for its meaning."

"Through all the ages it was Islam that was, by and large, the tolerant religion that respected the ‘Peoples of the Book’, giving Christians and Jews when it ruled over them a great deal of autonomy. The bombing of synagogue in Istanbul last December was the first hostile act (probably carried out by Al Qaeda) against Jews in Turkey for 500 years.

The Christians for their part have rarely been tolerant, unable to come to terms with Islamic and Jewish minorities in their midst. The long persecution of the Jews in Europe which culminated in Hitler’s gas chambers was always pursued by Christians not Muslims."
Khaleej Times Online

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Where Goes the U.S.-Turkish Relationship?

This article provides an excellent analysis of the current relations between the US and Turkey. You can see how much it has deteriorated.

"Throughout the 1990s, Turkish foreign policy analysts had an easy job. After all, Turkish foreign policy was predictable. Ankara cooperated enthusiastically with Washington, whether in the Middle East or in the Balkans. Turkey aligned itself with Israel and kept at arms length from Middle Eastern neighbors such as Syria and Iran. In Europe, Ankara traded heavily with the European Union (EU) but did not allow the EU to dictate foreign policy. The European Union's frequent allegations and criticism of human rights abuses in Turkey, especially with regard to Turkey's fight against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK, Partiya Karkaren Kurdistan) terrorists, soured the relationship, which deteriorated even further when the EU declared Turkey unfit for membership at its December 1997 Luxembourg Summit."

"But today the situation is far different. On May 20, 2004, for example, Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused both Israel and the United States of "state terror."[2] The frequency and harshness of criticism of the Jewish state has increased greatly.[3] The shift within Turkey has been dramatic. Ankara's foreign policy is moving into alignment with that of the EU. Today, the Turkish foreign ministry endorses 95 percent of the EU's foreign policy decisions.[4] Not only did Turkey stay out of the war in Iraq, but it has maintained at best lukewarm support for U.S. initiatives on the Middle East ranging from the Greater Middle East Initiative (GMEI) to holding the Iranian government accountable for its clandestine nuclear program."

Where Goes the U.S.-Turkish Relationship? - Middle East Quarterly - Fall 2004

Child’s Bible now in Turkish

"The first 15,000 copies of the Turkish edition of God speaks to His Children is now available. Known also as the Child’s Bible, the book is a collection of biblical texts for children and has been printed in 40 million copies around the world."

From Far-right to Far-left, Turks Oppose EU

Of course 20% of Turks don't want to have anything to do with the EU:

""There is no reason for Turkey to become a part of the European Union -- it can only become a province or a colony of Europe," argues Dogu Perincek, a veteran Maoist militant and president of the Workers' Party (IP)."

""It will mean the end of the Turkish Republic as we know it," warns Mehmet Sandir, vice president of the far-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP). "It will be something completely different," he told AFP."

"The EU is a sucker's market," Perincek said in a recent interview with AFP, accusing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of "lying" to the people about the benefits of joining the bloc."

From Far-right to Far-left, Turks Oppose EU

The Turkish Paradox

If you would like to know more about Armenian Question, there is a great ongoing debate over it at the following link. This link is to the llatest in a series of articles dealing with this difficult situation.
FrontPage :: The Turkish Paradox by Gamaliel Issac

Turkey will not apologise for Armenian genocide

Could Turkey forfeit EU entry for something that happened in 1915?

"TURKEY has reacted angrily to a demand by France that it accept responsibility for a “genocide” against Armenians nearly 80 years ago, which is thought to have influenced the Nazi Holocaust."

". . . a Turkish government spokesman said: “There was no such genocide, so there is no question of recognising a genocide that did not happen.”

One Turkish official said: “They are just trying to make us angry. It is their last chance to cause trouble against us.”

Times Online - World

Turkey as an Asset

"The size, demography, economy, geography, but most of all the culture of the country are all regarded as a burden by many in the EU. From France to Slovakia, from Austria to Poland, people fear that Turkey may "Islamize" Christian Europe. Many believe that hoards of Turkish workers will flood "Europe" and "steal" jobs from the indigenous Europeans.

Most of these concerns are unjustified and far from the reality, but they need to be addressed."

"Needless to say, Turkey is not yet a haven of human rights. There are still areas in urgent need of rectification."

". . . in terms of identity the majority refer to themselves primarily as Turks and only secondarily as Muslims.

By a large margin, Turkish Muslims strongly reject fundamentalism and religious intolerance. They are representatives of a moderate Islam highly tolerant of other religions."

Highly tolerant is debatable, but maybe more tolerant than other Muslim countries is a better way to put it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Here's another one. Posted by Hello
The Bears of Istanbul - Bears created by artists from all the countries of the world came to Istanbul. Here are a couple of my favorites. The "Statue of Liberty" bear was the American entry. Posted by Hello

Human rights record haunts Turkey’s EU ambitions

"In recent years Turkey has made huge strides in stamping out human rights abuses.

The death penalty has been abolished, the once dreaded state security courts dismantled, and cultural and linguistic rights broadened for the country’s Kurdish, Arabic and Bosnian communities.
Ahead of this week’s EU summit to decide whether to launch membership talks with the country, prime minister Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist-oriented government has approved proposals to scale down police powers, in addition to other far-reaching constitutional and legislative reforms.

Yet human rights violations continue. Across the Muslim nation’s remote and impoverished south-east, women like Ayse Ozgur are still prone to crimes of violence."

KurdishMedia News - Daily Kurdish news updates

EU Membership will Mean End of Independent Turkish State

"Out of the approximately 71 percent of Turkish people who support EU membership, 76 percent have no information about the EU in general"

"Europe has not been transformed by any foreign culture and civilization that has internalized within it and will never be. On the contrary, Europe has transformed them and will continue to do so. Secondly, Turkey and Turks will join the EU not as "one and undivided" Turkey and Turkish people," but in a fragmented and deflated state."


Turkish PM challenges EU to prove it not a Christian club

"he European Union (EU) must admit Turkey in order to show that it is not opposed to Islam and it is not a Christian Club, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday."

". . . if these countries burn their bridges with the rest of the world, history will not forgive them." The EU leaders are widely expected at this week's summit to back the launch of accession talks with Turkey, probably some time in 2005."
Xinhua - English

Monday, December 13, 2004

Church in France Concerned About Human Rights in Turkey

"Archbishop Simon said that COMECE "is asking heads of state and government to see that the Turkish state commits itself henceforth to grant official juridical status to religious minorities present in that country. This commitment is in conformity with the European Convention on Human Rights. It should form part of the conditions prior to the opening of accession negotiations and to the conclusions of the next European Council."

Basically, this means there is yet another group putting pressure on Turkey to provide more rights to religious minorities.

Zenit News Agency - The World Seen From Rome

Islam and democracy

"Moderate Muslims must show that the two are entirely compatible

"Democracy’s failure to take root in key Arab Muslim countries is a sign not of incompatibility but of work still to be done and the durability of dictatorships. Europe should seize the Turkish opportunity to show the world the true depth of its tolerance — and it should ask itself tough questions about why Washington rather than Brussels conceived of this weekend’s conference in Rabat."

Times Online - World

Friday, December 10, 2004

Can We Reach the World in Our Lifetime?

"Over the centuries, Christianity spread across Europe, Africa and parts of Asia. Early missionaries like Ambrose, Ulfilas, Patrick and Boniface were used of God to convert the pagan tribes of Europe. In time, Christianity spread from England to Russia. It seemed that the world was ripe for the Gospel as the Middle Ages dawned.

However, there were incredible obstacles to overcome: the rise of militant Islam, the ultimate failure of the Crusades and the spiritual decadence of the church itself. By the 16th Century, Martin Luther and others were calling for a total reformation of the church. When the pope refused, the Protestant movement was born in the heart of Europe with a focus on clarifying the theology of the church. But it would be nearly two centuries before they would reach out beyond the European continent."

"The question is: Where do we go from here with what we now know? Those who have gone before had paid a great price to preach the Gospel to a world in great need of a Savior. In many ways, they were strategic in their methodology for their time. Today, with the benefit of worldwide data, information and communication, we have a greater opportunity than ever. The 200-year history of modern missions and well-documented successes and failures challenge us to be accountable for being strategic in our generation."

EPIC International: Resources

Islam and West are not 'Separate'

From Jack Straw, the British Foreign Minister

"We are told by some that the so-called secular "West" is doomed to clash with countries of majority Islamic faith. In its most extreme form, that view is promoted by the fanatics and terrorists who thrive on hatred, and strike at every symbol of tolerance and understanding."

"we reject completely the view that Islam is doomed to clash with the so-called "West".

For a start, the two are not separate entities. The Turkish city of Istanbul was for centuries a centre of Christendom, and retains a rich Christian (and Jewish) heritage today. St Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus is part of the Christian bible."

ZAMAN DAILY NEWSPAPER (2004120914590): "iations now, in line with the recomm"

Thursday, December 09, 2004

EUbusiness - Erdogan lauds tolerance as 'Garden of Religions' opens in Turkey

"Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged Wednesday that his government would remove any remaining obstacles to religious freedoms in Turkey as he opened a complex of Muslim, Christian and Jewish worship sites.

The "Garden of Religions" in the Mediterranean resort of Belek, which contains a mosque, a church and a synagogue, was inaugurated to underscore inter-cultural tolerance at a time when Turkey is under fire from the EU for failing to fully respect the rights of its non-Muslim minorities."

"Leaders of Turkey's non-Muslim minorities hailed the inauguration of the "Garden of Religions," but not without some barbed remarks on legal snags restricting their activities.

"Catholics are able to practice their religion in Turkey but do not have (property) rights over churches. I hope they will have that right one day," Father Alphonse Sammut, a representative of the Catholic community said, according to Anatolia.

Armenian Orthodox Patriarch Mesrob II, for his part, said that non-Muslim places of worship should be opened in all major Turkish cities.

"This should be done either by rennovating historical sites or by building new ones as the one here," he said."

EUbusiness - Erdogan lauds tolerance as 'Garden of Religions' opens in Turkey

Turkey Plays Down Row with U.S. But Chides Envoy

"Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has sharply criticized U.S. policy in neighboring Iraq and a senior member of his ruling AK party described a recent military offensive against insurgents in Falluja as "genocide," infuriating Washington."

This is an attitude that is growing hear as it is preached at the mosques and protested in the streets. Pray that it wouldn't interfere with the spread of the Truth.

Politics News Article |

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Continue to Pray for New Church

Umut Kilisesi, a new Turkish fellowship here in Istanbul, continues to plug along as it attempts to find a core group of believers to build around. Pray for God to raise up the right Christians, new and old to help this new community to thrive and grow.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Fallujah, Execution in Mosques and the Rest

More propaganda from the local news:

"To understand what is going on in the aftermath of September 11th in a wider angle in Fallujah it is important to know the thought and belief structures of Christian Zionists dominating US now with the aim of US world hegemony."

"Islam is a religion, which contains all former celestial religions and includes believing their prophets, books among basic beliefs; therefore, it is a receptive and receiving religion."

"The illegal and inhumane treatment in Iraq is just the historical reaction to hatred against Islam and Muslims."


Saturday, December 04, 2004

Stoned to death... why Europe is starting to lose its faith in Islam

"DAYS before she was due to be married, Ghofrane Haddaoui, 23, refused the advances of a teenage boy and paid with her life."

"Police across the EU are closely watching prayer meetings in makeshift mosques in cities and housing estates, and media accounts of the jihadist, anti-Western and anti-semitic doctrines of the imams are fuelling public anger."
Times Online - World

Turkey Policies on Minorities Spark Debate

"A furor in Turkey ignited by the title of a Christian spiritual leader on a U.S. embassy invitation has underscored concerns about the largely Muslim country's treatment of minorities two weeks before the European Union decides whether to open membership talks with Ankara. "

"When the U.S. Embassy sent out invitations for a reception on Thursday hosted by Ambassador Eric Edelman that referred to Bartholomew as "ecumenical patriarch" - a term long accepted by the United States and Europe - Turkish officials were furious."

ABC 7 News - Turkey Policies on Minorities Spark Debate

Friday, December 03, 2004

'Islam problem' baffles Turkey

" What difference does Islam make? To many in Europe, when thinking about Turkey's possible membership, it is the defining difference; to some politicians, it is one difference too far."

"Professor Omer Ulukapi, at Konya's university, describes the family as "the basis of our culture". But he goes on to list the factors - moral, ethical, religious and historical - that he thinks have contributed to the elevated status that the family still has."

"A very high proportion of the population describes themselves as practising Muslims - more than 90% in a 1999 survey said they kept the Ramadan fast."
BBC NEWS | Europe | 'Islam problem' baffles Turkey

War and Murder

To give you an idea of the kind of anti-American rhetoric that flows daily out of the newspapers and television stations, this article is a good example. Most of the people I meet and talk to believe things like this when they hear them.

"Now let's also look at what U. S. forces are doing in Iraq, besides Abu-Ghraib. They are completely razing historic and religious places like vandals. They are raiding mosques, schools, hospitals and killing the wounded, defenseless communities praying in the house of Allah. What is the explanation for this?"

Pure Turkishness

"Few Turks who consider themselves as 'majority Turks' -- pure, Sunni Muslim Turks -- are probably what they believe they are. Intercultural marriages both during the Ottoman and Republican times, plus the fact that Anatolia has always been a mosaic of scores of ethnicities suggest that it is silly to talk of 'pure Turks' and 'pure non-Turks.'"

"Recently, the chairman of a semi-official (now a non-governmental organization) human rights committee announced at a news conference that the findings of quite a liberal report suggested Turkey must expand its minority rights. The man did not know that one member of the committee would jump onto the stage, grab the sheets of paper from his hands and rip them up because “the report aimed at dividing Turkey.”
Turks.US - Pure Turkishness...

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Erdogan Named “European of the Year”

"Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been chosen by the readership of a European weekly as the “European of the Year”."

Kind of makes it hard for them to keep Turkey out of Europe.

"Self-made Erdogan, former leader of the Islamic Justice and Development Party (AK), rose from selling toasted bread in the streets of Istanbul to the helm of the political party."
Islam Online- News Section

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Where does Europe end and Asia begin?

"Ukraine and Turkey are the two most vexing questions geography and history have bequeathed the European Union. "

"Turkey raises a different version of the same question, since, while the Turks in the past dominated a major part of southeastern Europe, Turkey itself is not a European society; its territory is mainly in Asia; its language has no links to the European languages; its religion is not Christian; and its neighbors are Middle Eastern and Caucasian."

William Pfaff: Where does Europe end and Asia begin?

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Failed Kemalist Modernization Project.

"In the beginning of the 20th Century the Ottoman Empire’s military and civil bureaucracy, about 95% of which was under Colonel Mustafa Kemal Pasha’s leadership, decided to create a modern Republic from what remained of the Empire after World War I. The Ottoman Empire, like most other empires, was multinational, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-lingual, and allowed for a wide variety of religions. However, the founders of this new Republic decided to create a uniform ethnicity, language, and religious orientation (Islam = Sunni-Hanefi and Turks=Turkish) out of this diverse community. Since then, the government has been in war with its citizens, imposing its will to artificially transform the majority into a minority culture, language, and religion. At the same time the educational institutions, the mass media, and public officials have preached citizen-uniformity and enforced with gunpoint, furthermore, anyone taking a position contrary to that has been considered an Enemy-of-the-State."

Kurdistan Observer

Monday, November 29, 2004

True security rests in sustained Christian-Muslim dialogue

"Over the centuries Christians and Muslims have indeed fought each other on numerous fronts. They have also cooperated and co-existed on countless others. We are not facing a clash of civilizations, where religious and ethnic identities determine the fault lines. We are facing a minority clash of fundamentalisms, whose followers exploit anxieties and frustration caused by genuine political conflicts to further their own ideological agendas."

Mathaba.Net News

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Younger Turks favor joining EU as way to better nation

"Nearly a century after a cabal of young Turks engineered the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, a new generation of young Turks is embracing the start of another kind of revolution."

" In their enthusiasm, Turks under 30 seem undaunted by the remaining EU membership hurdles. Instead, many say they understand that their country must make further progress in areas such as education and must solidify human-rights and political reforms before it can join Europe's club."

" Havva Yakup's dreams are more concrete and definitely closer to home. She wants to see more religious freedom in this predominantly Muslim country, including a change in the Turkish law that prohibits wearing head scarves in universities and government buildings.

"I hope Turkey becomes a member because if it does, it will make it possible for me to continue my education regardless of whether or not I wear a head scarf," said Yakup, who is 15 and attends a religious high school."

To read more, just click the coments button below.
Chicago Tribune | Younger Turks favor joining EU as way to better nation

Coffeehouse and Prayer Hall

Religious Restrictions Begin
To Ease as Nation Seeks
Entry in European Union

"ANTALYA, Turkey -- Strolling through the jasmine-scented alleys of this Mediterranean port city in 1997, Rev. James Bultema stumbled on an abandoned stone chapel. Instantly, he envisioned it restored and reconsecrated. Here was the home he was seeking for his budding congregation."

"Little did the 42-year-old minister realize that trying to turn the dilapidated chapel into one of Turkey's first new Christian churches in eight decades would entail years of effort and become a touchstone in the nation's bid to join the European Union. Rev. Bultema's continuing struggle illustrates the uneasiness in both Turkey and Europe over the prospect of the country entering the EU. Next month, EU leaders will decide whether to begin negotiations with Turkey on its application to join."

This article gives some examples of the struggles Christians go through in trying to get anything done with the government here.

The rest of the article is posted under the comments link below.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Europeans in No Mood to Welcome Turkey

"Too big. Too poor. Too Muslim.

For most Europeans, the recent recommendation of the European Union's executive body to open membership talks with Turkey goes a step too far."

"Surveys indicate that a referendum on Turkish membership would fail in every major EU country."

"Turkey is changing but Turkey also is good at window dressing," said Olivier Roy, one of the leading French commentators on the Middle East. "The changes have to be real, not just nice words written into the law."

Europeans in No Mood to Welcome Turkey

Friday, November 26, 2004

God's Work Continues

God is using the new believers in the region of Trakya here in Turkey in incredible ways. Last week, a visit to one of the new believing families in this area was especially fruitful. A young student who this new believer has been sharing with accepted Christ! They are already talking about how they can form together into a home church to study and share together. There are also two other friends who are very close to believing. Please pray for the new Christians in Trakya, they are new believers who don't have much, but are incredibly faithful in their walk and work.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Population to Rise to 71.8 Million

"It has been estimated that Turkey's population, 70,847,000 in late 2003, will rise to 71,813,000, an increase of 966,000 by the end of 2004."

This country is growing incredibly fast and of course that just means that many more people who need Jesus. On this Thanksgiving Day, be thankful that you know and have access to the truth.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

80 % of Muslims are Discriminated

"The 80 percent of Muslims who live in Great Britain reportedly are discriminated because of increasing "Islam Phobia"."


"With Turkey requesting admission into the European Union, there seems to be a bit more relaxed atmosphere regarding Christians, their churches and seminaries."

"As Susan Sachs of the New York Times writes, "Some hard-liners in Turkey see diversity as divisive." The best religion in Turkey is no religion at all, according to those who have held power for too long."


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Christian Post | Turkish Council Approves Long-Awaited Church Zoning Status

"A committee acting under the Turkish Ministry of Culture has approved legal zoning of the Diyarbakir Evangelical Church, granting formal approval for the first new Protestant church to be built in southeastern Turkey since the founding of the Turkish republic 81 years ago."

"Without question this is a direct answer to the prayers of Christians from all over the world,"
Christian News - The Christian Post | Turkish Council Approves Long-Awaited Church Zoning Status

Monday, November 22, 2004

Turkey's Dark Past

"Does Turkey have an Islamic Heritage Free of anti-Westernism and anti-Semitism?"

"Unfortunately the influence of Turkey's great Westernizing leader Kemal Ataturk is waning, and there is growing pro-fundamentalist Islamic sentiment in Turkey."

"There is one overriding reason to be concerned about admitting Turkey into the European Union, and that is the potential effect of Turkish membership on the Muslim population of European countries which are already having serious problems as a result of their large Islamic populations. If Turkey joins the EU, a significant percentage of Turkey's over 60 million Muslims may enter Europe. Furthermore, many millions of Muslims from other Islamic countries are likely to use Turkey as their gateway to Europe. Once they attain legal status in Turkey, these Muslims from other Islamic countries will be free to go anywhere in Europe."

Turkey's Dark Past

Turks, Germans march against Islamic violence

"Under the banner "hand in hand against terror", more than 20,000 Turkish immigrants and Germans marched through Germany's fourth largest city of Cologne on Sunday to condemn violence by and against Muslims."

"Islam is a religion of peace," Guenther Beckstein, arch conservative interior minister of Bavaria, told the rally. "Terrorists are criminals. Those who burn mosques are not decent Germans. They're criminals."

Reuters AlertNet - Turks, Germans march against Islamic violence

Religious diversity in Turkey spurned

"Turkey has long viewed its non-Muslim minorities with a certain ambivalence, defending freedom of worship while tightly regulating the affairs of religious institutions. Christians of Greek and Armenian descent, in particular, have said they are blocked from using, selling and renovating their churches' properties."

"Some legal constraints on religious foundations already have been relaxed over the last three years, although European and American human rights monitors, citing cases like the Panayia church, have reported that local officials have been reluctant to carry out the changes.

For many Turks, though, even a discussion of minorities raises fears of separatism. Some have argued that lifting government controls on religious institutions would undermine Turkey's secular foundations. And Turkey's president, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, recently warned that drawing attention to Turkey's sectarian or cultural diversity harmed the state."

The Sun News | 11/21/2004 | Religious diversity in Turkey spurned

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Minority rights demands spark questions on Turkish national identity

"As a child, Hrant Dink dreamed of becoming a detective, a hope that was shattered by Turkey’s unwritten rule that Jews and Christians may not join the police, the Foreign Ministry or become officers in the military. "

"Is being Turkish a matter of ethnicity, religion, or simply citizenship? "

"Many Turkish Muslims continued to regard Christians and Jews as foreigners and guests in their new state and there was deep suspicions toward Greeks and Armenians, the main Christian communities, who rose up against the Ottoman Empire as it collapsed. "

Minority rights demands spark questions on Turkish national identity

Friday, November 19, 2004

Miracle In Turkish Town

"today, the country's Jewish population is closer to 20,000, with many Jews having left for Israel and other countries over the decades following periods of political and economic instability. And while today's Jewish community lives mostly in Istanbul, there used to be pockets of rich Jewish life in cities and town stretching across Turkey, from its border with Greece to its frontier with Syria and Iraq."

International News

Cursing America

"There is a marked difference between the viewpoints of the Middle Eastern people and those of Turkish people concerning the West. Turkish people have a tradition of being able to view the East-West issue with a cooler composure and to approach matters with more commonsense. The propaganda against the Islamic world and the images created after September 11, have brought the Turkish people, most of whom are Muslims, closer to suffering people in the Middle East."


Turkish journey: A town called Trouble

"How can any country so full of kind and generous people be excluded from the EU?"

"When asked why the road was left in this challenging state, he says: "Because it is the road to Tunceli".

Tunceli (pronounced Tuhn-jeli) has, for pretty much as long as the Republic existed, meant trouble: "

BBC NEWS | Europe | Turkish journey: A town called Trouble

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Is a Christian or Kurd ’a Turk’?

"The struggle, they say, is between a Turkish national identity forged in the crucible of World War I and its aftermath, and the growing desire to create a more inclusive, multicultural society.

It is something akin, they say, to a second modernizing - and sometimes difficult - transformation for the country. "

"the board’s report says Turkey has fallen behind modern norms in its understanding of minority communities.

It calls for Turkey to recognize groups such as non-Sunni Muslims, Assyrian Christians, and cultural and linguistic minorities. It also calls for constitutional changes to protect individual and minority rights. "
KurdishMedia News - Daily Kurdish news updates

Turkish Football

Turkish Football
Originally uploaded by TurkeyNEWZ.
One of Turkey's great passions, football packs stadiums all over the country. Pray that someday stadiums will be filled with people worshipping God.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

European Muslims and the Quest for the Soul of Islam by Mustafa Akyol

"There are about thirteen million Muslims living in Europe, nearly all of them law-abiding citizens. Since September 11, 2001, however, European Muslims have been seen as potential base for a radical, anti-Western ideology founded on a crude misinterpretation of Islam that has nothing to do with true Islamic faith and is rejected by the majority of Muslims worldwide. The contest between these two views of Islam may define the course of the 21st century."

"We need keep in mind the Turkish example. Turkey has an Islamic heritage free of anti-Westernism and anti-Semitism and quite favorable to open society. Said Nursi, probably the most influential 20th century Turkish Muslim thinker, is known for his appeals for an alliance between Islam and Christianity against communism. Nursi's most prominent follower, Turkish Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen, leads today a moderate Islamic movement known for its global advocacy of modern education and inter-faith dialogue."
FrontPage :: European Muslims and the Quest for the Soul of Islam by Mustafa Akyol

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Christmas in Turkey

The Holiday Season is upon us. Maybe many of you didn't know that the origin of Santa Claus lies in Turkey. Go here for the rest of the story . . .

Christmas in Turkey

Monday, November 15, 2004

Fears Persist Year After Attack in Turkey

`The incidents had the opposite effects of those intended. ... It provided an opportunity to provide solidarity. The synagogues were repaired and were quickly reopened,'' said Ilter Turan, a political scientist at Istanbul Bilgi University. ``It demonstrated that Turkish society took a dim view of radicalism and terrorism.''

"The Turkish public was outraged by the bombings.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accused by secular critics of Islamist leanings, condemned the attacks and even made an unprecedented visit to the chief rabbi's office shortly after the bombings. Erdogan's stance, coupled with the public outrage and intense police raids, have helped to undercut support for radical Islamic groups in Turkey, analysts said. "

Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Fears Persist Year After Attack in Turkey

Ten 'must-do' excursions for servicemembers in Turkey

"If there are 10 must-dos for servicemembers stationed in Turkey, there are 1,000 things you’ll leave behind without experiencing.

Turkey is just like that — arguably the most destination-packed country in the world. There’s something for everyone, from the package-tour beach seeker to the most sophisticated adventurers. "

Ten 'must-do' excursions for servicemembers in Turkey

Sunday, November 14, 2004

This hamam is a far cry from a massage

A humorous look at someone's first visit to a hamam.

"In the center of the room was a large, flowing fountain. Men lazed on mats, either meditating or sipping tea. Others were on tables, being massaged by shirtless Arabic men, and for some reason, all I could think of was the line from Airplane: "Ever been to Turkish prison, Joey?"

"Each room had gotten progressively warmer - calling to mind frogs, slowly boiled without realizing their fate - and this room was no exception; sweat was dripping off me now. This main room featured a raised stone platform in the center, suitable for ritual sacrifice, and several stone shelves on the sides, where men were massaging other men." - Woburn Advocate - Opinion & Letters

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Happy Sugar Holiday

Seker Bayram (Sugar Holiday) is one of the biggest holidays here in Turkey. It's a great time of visiting with friends and family after the month of Ramadan. Remember the workers and believers during this time as they reach out to those around them.

"Bayram visits lets people get together and forget about past mistakes. Arguments are no longer remembered and everything is forgiven.

Starting from tomorrow, we will be celebrating one of our holiest bayrams. "
Turks.US - Happy Sugar Holiday

Pisidian Project

Your giving can help fund a large distribution project in which it is planned that 70,000 copies of the JESUS film, a video on starting a local church and a Scripture portion containing Luke, Acts, and Romans, will be shared. Volunteers will come to a large Central Asian country to distribute these materials throughout the summer. Funds will go toward purchasing the materials for distribution at a cost of $3.50 per packet. 72401-463-264-03

Special Projects

Friday, November 12, 2004

Misreading Islam

"America's misreading of the Arab world – and our current misadventure in Iraq – may have really begun in 1950."

"There in Istanbul, in the heart of what once was a Muslim empire, a Western-style democracy was being born.

The hero of this grand transformation was Kemal Ataturk. A generation before Lewis's visit to Turkey, Ataturk (the last name, which he adopted, means "father of all Turks"), had seized control of the dying Ottoman Sultanate."

"Iraq, of course, does not seem to be heading in that direction."

Misreading Islam

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Commemorating Ataturk

"Turkey is today commemorating the 66th anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk -- the founding father of Turkey, who after winning the country's independence from occupying armies following World War I, established the modern Turkish Republic from the ashes of the "sick man of Europe," the Ottoman Empire."

"(Ataturk) introduced a modern civil code and transformed the people of this land from a religious community into the Turkish nation. Religion and politics were segregated. That was the revolution that created today's modern secular Turkish Republic of predominantly Muslim Turks -- a living example in the post Sept. 11 world that Islam and democracy can indeed coexist."

Commemorating Ataturk

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Shades of Islamic Fundamentalism

"For political reasons, whether it is a question of Islam or Europe, certain media label conservatives, fundamentalists and ultrafundamentalists as fundamentalists, but their positions are very different.

In the Muslim world, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a conservative, the Al Jazeera preacher Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi is a fundamentalist, and Osama bin Laden is an ultrafundamentalist. In the Christian realm, both Bush as well as Rocco Buttiglione are conservatives, but the political polemic labels them fundamentalists. "
Shades of Islamic Fundamentalism

Muslim students unite in prayer

On the North Texas campus, Turkish students and others practice the fast.

"Eight million Muslims in America condemn terrorism and 1.5 billion Muslims in the world condemn terrorism! There is no place for terrorism in Islam!" Meek proclaimed.

"We're not trying to earn Heaven. Without faith, there is no salvation," Meek said. "Islam is a religion that teaches goodness in every way. The intentions are what matter. Nothing in Islam matters unless the intentions are correct."
North Texas Daily- YOUR CAMPUS CONNECTION - Muslim students unite in prayer

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

'New' Turkey, mostly Asian, eyes Europe

The past has vanished.
Everything that was uttered belongs there.
Now is the time to think of new things.

- Jelaluddin Rumi,
Turkish poet (1207-1273)

Paradise Post - News Features

Monday, November 08, 2004

Night of Power - Tuesday, November 9, 2004

The Night of Power takes place on the 27th night of Ramazan. Muslims believe it is the night when God is most accessible to devout worshippers. They believe the angel Gabriel dictated messages to Muhammad that represented the will of God for His people. After Muhammad’s death, these messages were compiled in the Quran. This 27th night is believed to be the night these messages were given to Muhammad. Devout Muslims spend the entire night in a special prayer vigil commemorating this event. Many Muslims believe that on this night God hears prayers directly Himself or through the angel Gabriel. Muslims often have supernatural "encounters" with God on this night through dreams, visions, visitations and healings. These manifestations may continue during the night and weeks which follow.

1. Pray for God to reveal Himself to Muslims through the Holy Spirit during their dreams and visions, demonstrating His love and truth.
2. Pray that their minds and hearts will be open to hearing and responding to the gospel message.
3. Pray for a mighty movement of the Holy Spirit among Muslims during their prayer vigil.

Minority Phobia' Haunts Turkey

"But both the Turkish establishment and Turkish public share a widespread belief that the Christian West then used the stick of religion and nationalism in Eastern Europe to break up the Ottoman Empire during the 19th and 20th centuries. "
Text News

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Time to Talk Turkey

"The EU needs to set aside pettiness and consider Turkey’s full membership"

"20 to 30 percent of the French population under the age of 25 is now Muslim. Statistics also indicate that native-born French are not having many babies, but France’s large Muslim immigrant community is, and it is the largest in any state in the European Union, currently representing approximately 7 percent of the nation’s 60 million people."
Full Story

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Marines turn to God ahead of anticipated Fallujah battle

"The three laid down in a rubber dinghy filled with water and the chaplain's assistant, Navy corpsman Richard Vaughn, plunged their heads beneath the surface.

Smiling, Vaughn baptised them "in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."

Dripping wet, Corporal Keith Arguelles beamed after his baptism.

"I just wanted to make sure I did this before I headed into the fight," he said on the military base not far from the city of Fallujah."

Turkey And EU Speak 'Different Languages' On Minorities

"The Turkish definition of a minority is based on religion and not on ethnicity.

Turkey had long resisted demands for more Kurdish freedoms. "
Text News

EUROPE: Americans said 'yes' to war, says European press on Bush victory

Some responses from the Turkish press:

"The left-leaning Turkish Cumhuriyet daily said the world was now "at the mercy of Bush" after US voters ignored international concerns about his aggressive policies.

But a columnist in the Turkish newspaper Radikal forecast that the incumbent nonetheless will "aim to eradicate the polarization ... because it seems an almost impossible task to run the world and his country without a certain compromise."

Turkey, much like the rest of Europe, believes their very liberal anti-American press. Please remember this in your prayer time. It does impact the work here.
Asia Pacific Media Network :: EUROPE: Americans said 'yes' to war, says European press on Bush victory

Friday, November 05, 2004

New Faith Sparks a Fire

In the Trakya region of NW Turkey, God is working to bring more people to himself. Two months ago, I wrote about a man and his wife that were baptized from a city in this area. Since that time, he has faithfully shared everything he has learned with all of his friends. His friends have seen the change in his life and have started to respond. 3 or 4 of them have already admitted that they are moving towards Christianity.

As God works through this man's relationships to the relationships of others, the potential for a great church to be born in this city exists. Thank God for this man's faithfulness and pray that he will continue to be used by God in his city and the surrounding areas. Pray for his friends to respond in faith and believe and for God to use this to spread the Gospel all over this land.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

What Christians Need to Know about Muslims

"The simple fact remains that our Muslim neighbors do not know Christ. And that, says Emir Caner, should break our hearts and compel us to reach out in love."

"When asked about his own conversion, Caner quickly points to the sovereignty and providence of God. That, and a “persistent, obnoxious youth who wouldn’t give up on sharing Jesus with us. He invited us to every revival, rally, lock-in, you name it. He wanted us to be there.” - Emir Caner: What Christians Need to Know about Muslims

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Filmmaker Who Criticized Islam Slain

"Filmmaker Theo van Gogh, 47, had been threatened after the August airing of the movie "Submission," which he made with a right-wing Dutch politician who had renounced the Islamic faith of her birth."

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Christlike Kerry Roams Spiritual Universe

"Mr. Kerry grabs at any showy idea to demonstrate his sense of urgency. As a response to militant Islam and to encourage moderate Muslims, the presidential aspirant proposes that "the great religious figures of the planet" - he mentioned the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Dalai Lama - hold a summit.

To do exactly...what?"Lenni Brenner: Christlike Kerry Roams Spiritual Universe

Spiritual Leaders Came Together in Fast Breaking Dinner

"Professor Ali Bardakoglu, Director of Religious Affairs, hosted a fast breaking dinner, iftar, that brought together spiritual leaders throughout Istanbul."

Monday, November 01, 2004

Love thine enemy

The Humanists are acknowledging that their ideals have not surpassed religion:
"Not long ago, humanists could feel that theirs was the way of the future. But now, Dave Belden argues, we will need to relearn how to make common cause with religious progressives"

"Current projections predict more than one billion Pentecostal Christians alone by 2050. Christianity is growing faster even than Islam. We can expect religious wars as well as mass conversions in this century. "
New Humanist November 2004

Istanbul (

Turkey is a land filled with Biblical and Christian history. This site tells the role some of the most prominent locations in Turkey played in that history. This link focuses specifically on sites in Istanbul.
Istanbul (

Sunday, October 31, 2004

The New Crusade

"After Rocco Buttiglione, the conservative Roman Catholic nominee for the Justice portfolio, pronounced homosexuality to be a "sin" and unwed mothers "bad," the outcry from parliamentarians forced its incoming president, José Manuel Durão Barroso, to withdraw his entire slate of commissioners."
"his supporters instantly framed it as a religious witch hunt. "
"the new European Constitution, which despite strenuous lobbying from Christians contains no mention of God or Christianity."
MSNBC - The New Crusade

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Turkey: Bridge or bridgehead?

"Whether Turkey’s accession to the EU would create a bridge of understanding between Western Europe and the Islamic world or would Turkey be a bridgehead from which large numbers of Muslims will "invade" western society?"

"The underlying problem for the west is not Islamic fundamentalism but whether a good part of the Islamic world believes Islam to be a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power. "
Turkey: Bridge or bridgehead?

Friday, October 29, 2004

Anniversary of the Republic of Turkey

Today marks the eighty-first anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. This has brought freedom of religion and many other important freedoms that have allowed the Church here to grow. Pray that these freedoms would continue and expand in the future.

Kurdish Lessons For Kashmiris

"After receiving the Sakharov Prize, European Union (EU)’s top human rights award, Leyla Zana, former Turkish deputy of Kurdish origin told the European Assembly in Brussels on 14 October that "Violence has outlived its time. The language and method of solution of our age is dialogue, compromise and peace. It is not 'die and kill,' but 'live and let live'.” "Everything that is not given a name and not defined is without identity. It is only the Kurds who do not have a name," added Zana. She said that her aim was to underline the brotherhood of people's languages and cultures. "The Kurds are determined for a peaceful solution within the territorial integrity of Turkey." She! spoke partly in Kurdish and partly in Turkish."Kurdish Lessons For Kashmiris By K. Gajendra Singh

The Vanishing Act of the Church in Turkey - Christian History

"Turkey is home to many of Christianity's pivotal events. Present-day Turkey hosted the Christian church's foundational church councils, including Nicea, which laid the groundwork for orthodox theology. The seven churches of Revelation were there. And one of Paul's most important epistles, Ephesians, was addressed to believers in a city on Turkey's Mediterranean Sea coast.

So how did Turkey's Christians end up like the Macedonian in Paul's dream, begging for help from abroad?"
The Vanishing Act of the Church in Turkey - Christian History

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Political Power of Turkish Army Seems to Fade

"For the first time since the 1980 military coup, a civilian presided over Turkey's National Security Council on Wednesday, reflecting a quiet but major shift toward limiting the political power of the country's generals."
The New York Times > International > Europe > Political Power of Turkish Army Seems to Fade


"I have concluded that the good that has come out of the Muslim murder scheme is that Islam is being revealed truly as the killing religion that it is. Moderate Muslims are merely those who don’t see through the explicit demands of the Koran; but the absolutely aligned Muslim believers are being orthodox in their acts.

They are carrying out exactly what their so-called holy writ demands — killing off those who don’t agree with their Allah, their Koran, and their religion.

That’s the only good that continues to flow from the blood spilt. The only good." THE GOOD THAT COMES OUT OF MUSLIM MURDERS

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Bible in Turkish has a constant impact

Praise God that we have a Bible in modern Turkish that is easy to understand. Pray that God's Word would go out and penetrate the hearts and minds of those who are seeking the truth.

Bible in old 19th Century Turkish

Bible in modern Turkish

EU challenges Turkey to lose its religion

"I have to admit that when I was told that Turkey would not be admitted into the European Union unless it withdrew a law making adultery a criminal offense, my first response was to burst out laughing. We might all have enviously suspected that adultery was a "European value," but who ever expected to get official confirmation of it from the European Commission?"

"Insofar as there is fundamental hostility to Islam in the West, it comes not from Christians but from post-Christians. Most European institutions are in the grip of secular fundamentalists who have no qualms about imposing upon society moral principles that clash with Christianity as much as they do with Islam. Their bedrock principle is that religion has no place in political debate which must be decided on exclusively secular grounds."
EU challenges Turkey to lose its religion

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

No surrender to terrorism

"We do have fundamentalist Islam, as Christianity or any other religion has fundamentalists who are wreaking havoc in the name of religion. There can be no religion, color or ethnicity of terrorism. Why avoid describing the culprits of the Istanbul bombings as "Islamist terrorists?" No one is saying that all Muslim people are terrorists."
No surrender to terrorism

Monday, October 25, 2004

Bombed British envoy 'will not hide'

"The British Consulate in Istanbul will reopen today after a terror attack last year killed 16 people
HIS consulate has been bombed by terrorists and 16 people were killed in the attack, but Sir Peter Westmacott remains convinced that it is not possible to run a diplomatic mission cocooned inside a remote, high-security compound."
Times Online - World

Sunday, October 24, 2004

The Virgin Mary Project

""Tolerance and dialogue, which accept everyone according to his/her status, the idea of being respectful, and transferring these on to real life, are not things, in Islamic history, that emanated from us."

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Prime Ministry Published Human Rights Report

"Liberty of religion and conscience: the constitution itself constrains the liberty of religion. Meeting some intentions of and taking the bans above the right to live clarifies that a balance between liberty of religion and secularism was not established."

Friday, October 22, 2004

Glimpsing the world through God's eyes

"M" used to beat his wife and curse Christianity -- not to mention handling dirty work for the Turkish Mafia.

Then he met Jesus personally. His life changed so radically that his nephew, "U," recently approached another Christian believer in Turkey and asked, "Can you explain to me what happened to my uncle? He's a totally different man!"
WORLDVIEW: Glimpsing the world through God's eyes - (BP)

Prayer for mugla

Pray that God will help the indigenous people in Mugla province to see the difference between nominal and dedicated Christians. Tourists who are believers in Jesus Christ can easily leave a powerful testimony in this region.

Pray that the indigenous Christians will grow in numbers and maturity (church elders are needed).

Pray that the people of the provincial capital and other towns will discover the gospel. Pray that many students will be reached.

Pray for the few Christian workers doing church-planting. Pray that they may receive long-term prayer support; also pray for wisdom for their work. Pray for more labourers, especially in Fethiye. "
Prayer for mugla - 30-Days Muslim World Prayer Guide - Day 08

Thursday, October 21, 2004

30-Days Muslim World Prayer Guide

Here is good prayer guide for the Muslim World during Ramadan. Tomorrow a Turkish Province is featured.
eBooklet 6 - 30-Days Muslim World Prayer Guide

The "Islamic Reformation" Revisited

"We English-speakers are heirs to a society in which Protestantism triumphed by force, and to colonies in most of which Protestant churches represented a state faith. "

"there seems to be a clear desire on the part of Muslim "reformers" to gain favor with Westerners by reassuring the latter of a purported correctness in Christian criticisms of the situation in Islam, and to convince them that the "reformers" represent a positive way forward for the faith of Muhammad."
TCS: Tech Central Station - The "Islamic Reformation" Revisited

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


A Pakastani Christian's critical evaluation of the Muslim concept of Jihad. Everything you wanted to know about it . . . and far more.

"Muhammad's fighters and donors hoped to receive not only blessings from Allah, but also a concrete payment as earnings for their efforts and sacrifices. Islam is a religion of works righteousness and not a religion of grace. Muslims think that the size of their record of good deeds in heaven is what decides about their future!"

"Christians should recognize and accept the challenge of the hour, the mission field has come to their home country. It has never been as easy to offer the gospel to Muslims without breaking the law. But who is obeying the command of the risen Christ to evangelize all Muslims? Should only a small percentage of Christians, the fundamentalists, practice religious obedience while the majority only thinks of itself in a middle-class, syncretistic or apathetic manner? The existence of Muslims in our area places us into Jesus Christ's presence, who will one day say to us: "What you have done to the least of these, my brothers, you have done to me" (Matthew 25:40)."
Pakistan Christian Post

Does US really want Turkish membership in the EU?

"the EU's attitude towards Turkey would soon spark heated reactions, and this is likely to give the US the opportunity to win back the Turkish public which is more anti - American today than ever before"

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Turkish Charity Counters Proselytizing in N.Iraq

"With the advent of Ramadan, a Turkish relief organization has launched charity projects in the Turkoman-populated areas in northern Iraq to counter rising missionary work there."

“They are playing on the country’s social and economic woes and people’s hunger to convert as much as they can by distributing gospels, fliers, books, CDs and jackets imprinted with crucifixes.”
Islam Online- News Section

Bridging The Chasm: A Reconciliation of Civilizations

"A Bridge To The
Future: Why Turkish Accession Is
Beneficial To The World

Turkey's accession to the EU would be ground-breaking in several obvious and not-so-obvious ways."
Bridging The Chasm: A Reconciliation of Civilizations - Harbus - News

Monday, October 18, 2004

Islam: A Totalitarian Ideology?

A defense of some Muslim ideals. The most interesting part of the read is under Why I am a Muslim towards the bottom of the page.

"To Islam alone has been granted the truth -- there is no possibility of salvation outside it. It is the sacred duty -- an incumbent religious duty established in the Koran and the Traditions -- of all Muslims to bring it to all humanity. Jihad is a divine institution, enjoined specially for the purpose of advancing Islam. Muslims must strive, fight and kill in the name of God."
FrontPage :: Islam: A Totalitarian Ideology? by FrontPage Magazine

Questions raised about press freedom in Turkey

"The undeniable legislative progress achieved in Turkey must not to mask the fact that it is still very difficult for the most critical journalists to function,"
Reporters sans fronti�res - Turkey

What Price Freedom?

"So, what to do about Turkey now? Certainly stop pushing it towards further democratization. Even though the Europeans will not formally welcome Turkey to their club, they should let Turkish companies enjoy the benefits of the common market, since it is economic freedom and prosperity that can beat Islamic fundamentalism and eventually build democracy from the bottom up. In the meantime, maintaining controlled democracy seems to be the only reasonable option: one tolerant of genuine civil society and not of fundamentalism disguised as civil society; one that can help a beautiful flower grow and keep all the weeds out."

TCS: Tech Central Station - What Price Freedom?

Sunday, October 17, 2004

A journey back to the time of Noah

"Our quest was to visit the site where Noah's Ark is said to rest.
From Istanbul, the four of us, along with a Turkish guide and six other travelers, flew to Van, near the Iranian border in Turkey's Eastern Anatolia region."

A journey back to the time of Noah

Poverty drives truckers from Turkey into Iraq

"The line of trucks at the Turkish border crossing into Iraq stretches for five miles, a sign that despite kidnappings and beheadings, thousands of Turks are still willing to risk their lives to haul cargo to Iraq. "
KurdishMedia News - Daily Kurdish news updates

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Thump! Thump! THUMP!

My wife was awakened Friday morning and I was awakened today by the sound of our neighborhood drummer. It was approximately 3:30. Every day for the next month, this is how everyone in Turkey will start their day. They get up early to have breakfast before their time of fasting during the daylight hours begins. I'm reminded during this inconvenience to pray. Join with us in praying for our friends and neighbors here who do not know the truth.

Friday, October 15, 2004

The Vanishing Act of the Church in Turkey

"Turkey is home to many of Christianity's pivotal events. Present-day Turkey hosted the Christian church's foundational church councils, including Nicea, which laid the groundwork for orthodox theology. The seven churches of Revelation were there. And one of Paul's most important epistles, Ephesians, was addressed to believers in a city on Turkey's Mediterranean Sea coast.

So how did Turkey's Christians end up like the Macedonian in Paul's dream, begging for help from abroad?"
The Vanishing Act of the Church in Turkey - Christianity Today Magazine

Review of Books: The Truth About Muslims

"The tortuous and complex relationship of Western Christendom and the world of Islam has provoked a wide variety of responses from historians."
The New York Review of Books: The Truth About Muslims

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Clash or Dialogue: Reality and Perception

"There are many examples of Muslim preachers who teach that there can be no reconciling between the ‘world of Islam’ and the ‘world of unbelief.’ Muslim extremists do indeed take verses of the Quran and sayings of Muhammad to justify atrocities against non-Muslims.

There are also less well-known preachers of hate. For example, the United States has its share of ‘holy men’ who claim that Muslims are evil and that morality has no place in a war against an evil enemy. "
Palestine Chronicle

Ramazan (Ramadan) in Turkey

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the month of Ramazan. Please remember to pray for the Turks as their minds turn towards spiritual things during the next month. Pray for them to see the emptiness in their current path and to reach out to find the truth.

Follow this link to learn more about this practice in general and the practice of it in Turkey.
Ramazan (Ramadan) in Turkey

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

BCC Events a Big Success!

Thank you for praying for the BCC event this past Sunday. 220 seeking Turks attended our worship meetings! A clear gospel presentation was given, several "real" life testimonies we given, small group discussion time took place and detailed surveys were taken.

Although we sent out 3000 letters, and made over 1500 phone calls the hard work is just now beginning. Today (Wednesday) we will be looking over the surveys and dividing follow-up responsibility between the others that joined us in this event.

Pray with us that from this first gathering at lease 4 new churches will develop and that the 4 partnering Turkish churches will be strengthened. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Knock on the door

"There is a division, however, between the Turkey that the State Department knows and the country that borders Iran. It is not only predominantly Muslim, but Islam is far more actively enshrined in national life than Turkey's official "secular" posture would suggest. Orthodox Christians, concentrated mostly in Istanbul, are under siege and dwindling in numbers. Less than a century ago the Turks were liquidating Christian Armenians by the hundreds of thousands, and ethnically cleansing Greeks who had inhabited the eastern Mediterranean for millennia." | The Modesto Bee

10 Turkish Hostages Freed in Iraq

"The chairman of a Turkish construction company whose employees were released by kidnappers said Tuesday his firm will not withdraw from Iraq because it was unclear whether the abductions were politically motivated."

Yahoo! News - 10 Turkish Hostages Freed in Iraq

What the Crusades Were Really Like

Q: How are the Crusades different from Islam's jihad, or other wars of religion?
Q: Are there any similarities between the Crusades and the war against terror today?
Q: How did Christendom rationalize its defeat in the Crusades? Were the Crusaders defeated?

Zenit News Agency - The World Seen From Rome

Monday, October 11, 2004

Columbus Day Dreams

Did Muslims sail with Columbus?

"America was a melting pot from the beginning, and a Muslim presence in our history may well be established. But to do so respectably requires recourse to the established methods of the historian, not politically correct theories conjured from thin air."

TCS: Tech Central Station - Columbus Day Dreams

The many layers of 'Snow'

Here's an interesting novel, by the most popular Turkish novelist of today. Check out "Snow" by Orhan Pamuk.

"Snow," set in a remote, mountainous region of Turkey, is a multi-leafed novel of politics, love and literature. Written by Turkish novel Orhan Pamuk ("My Name is Red," "The White Castle"), it's a captivating story of what the human heart will endure for love, and arguably one of the best novels since Ian McEwan's "Atonement."
The many layers of 'Snow' -

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Turkey's continental drift

"a critical point — that Turkish membership "would give clear evidence to the Muslim world that their religious beliefs are compatible with EU values including democracy, the rule of law and the respect of fundamental rights." While some of Europe's concerns about Turkish membership in the EU are pragmatic, others are based on prejudice. It would be a shame for such bigotry to prevail."

Turkey's continental drift - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED - October 10, 2004

Our founding ideology and Islam

A look at the ideals set down by Ataturk versus some of the myths about him.

"They said, "Ataturk surrendered the nation to Christians," whereas, he deported Christian missionaries from the country. They said, "Ataturk wanted to keep Islamic truths from the people," whereas, he led a parliamentary decision to translate the Koran into Turkish so his people could for the first time read and understand it and funded the task from his own pocket."

Turks.US - Our founding ideology and Islam

Friday, October 08, 2004

Pray for Many New Believers and Churches This Sunday

Remember to pray for the events this Sunday, October 10th. Invitations have been sent out to almost 4000 Christians who are a part of the Bible Correspondance Course. Many of them will be coming to two different events where they will hear a clear gospel presentation and testimonies from Turkish believers. Pray that many will believe and many new groups of believers will be formed around the city. Posted by Hello

Turkey Advances in Its Bid to Join European Union

"Europe, he said, "is no longer a Europe of white Christians." He called those who would exclude Turkey on the basis of religion "irresponsible and loathsome." The Voice of Southeastern North Carolina

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Turkish P.M. Says People Of Different Religions Can Worship Freely In Turkey

"Erdogan said that all Christians and Jews could perform their religious ceremonies in Orthodox and Catholic churches, and synagogues, and noted that nobody could claim that religious ceremonies were obstructed in Turkey."

Turkish P.M. Says People Of Different Religions Can Worship Freely In Turkey

Turkey's Christians Hope EU Entry Provides New Freedoms

"For the few evangelicals in Turkey, the country's efforts to clean up its human-rights record have made an appreciable difference. " The political atmosphere in Turkey has improved enough, he added, to allow Christians to meet openly, to have summer camps attracting several hundred people and to have public baptisms in the Mediterranean Sea," writes the Washington Times.

"We are relatively free and we are tolerated now," said Jerry Mattix, an American who pastors a 40-member church in the eastern part of the country. "What attracted me to Turkey is that here's a Muslim country that's relatively open to evangelism. We [evangelical Christians] ought to be all over this."

Weblog: Turkey's Christians Hope EU Entry Provides New Freedoms - Christianity Today Magazine

Youthful Istanbul most 'European' part of Turkey

"Istanbul has always been a cosmopolitan oasis in a struggling country, but since 1950, its population has grown more than tenfold to 14 million, as part of a movement of Turkey's country-dwellers to the cities. Although many of the new migrants are transplanted Anatolians who have reconstituted their rural milieus in outlying shantytowns, central Istanbul has retained a Western feel - a thriving area of restaurants, malls and nightclubs."

KRT Wire | 10/05/2004 | Youthful Istanbul most 'European' part of Turkey

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Turkey's leading man

"Miracles, the chance to change.

I wonder what Tayyip Erdogan would have made of that.

Back in 1999 Turkey's most ambitious politician, a devout Muslim, was sent to prison for inciting religious hatred. "

BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | Turkey's leading man

Christian church may hold key for Turkey

"When a mentally deranged Turk showed up at Diyarbakir Evangelical Church one hot July day quoting verses from the Koran and waving a butcher knife, it took police a half-hour to get there.
By that time, Medet Arslan, 27, had broken several windows, threatened the Christians who were inside the church, and burned New Testaments and other Christian literature, curtains, bookshelves, tapes, compact discs and whatever furniture he could find in the reception hall. Had church members not locked him inside the room, he might have gone to the sanctuary on the second floor to do more damage. "

Christian church may hold key

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

We cannot write off religion, cultures

"Besides, is it fair to judge Turkey by Afghanistan? Every Muslim country - just like every Christian country - has a unique culture, and thus they cannot be lumped into one entity that doesn't work."

The Reporter - Letters

Turkey will strengthen Europe

"Turkey's acceptance into Europe will be the ultimate proof that democracy is possible in a Muslim country. It will be proof that even a country where believers pray in mosques - and not in churches or synagogues - can be part of the developed world. This is an important lesson for Arab countries. Turkey's entry into Europe is therefore good for democracy and peace and good for the Israel that believes in democracy and peace."

Haaretz - Israel News - Turkey will strengthen Europe

New Church Has It's First Meeting

Maybe it was a week late, but Umut Kilisesi had it's first meeting. The first week was disrupted by a protest by a local political party that is against Christians, but the second try was a charm. 12 new contacts came and joined the leadership for a time of worship and Bible study. Continue to pray for this young body of believers as they grow and learn together.

FAMILY: A welcome outpouring of kindness

You can make a difference in an international's life. This story is just one example. Refugees, students and people just working in your community are just waiting for someone to reach out to them.

"One of the best ways to help," Coats said, "is just to be their friend." | FAMILY: A welcome outpouring of kindness

Monday, October 04, 2004

When you forget why you hanged yourself

"Europe will become part of the Arab West, the Maghreb; immigration and demographic point in this direction." I do not know if this will happen, but if he turns out to be correct, the relief of Vienna [from the Turkish besiegers] will have been in vain ...The USA remains young and dynamic ... the USA will remain the only superpower. China will become an economic giant. Europe will be Islamicized."

Asia Times - Asia's most trusted news source

EU a fragile hope for Istanbul's Christians

"Andrea is a "Rum," Tarin is Armenian, Giovanni a Levantine. For centuries, their communities served as bridges between Europe and the Ottoman Empire whose successor, Turkey, is now seeking full European Union membership.

All three are Christian and favor the mainly Muslim country's entry into the EU and see in it a fragile hope for their disappearing cultures."

The Daily Star - Politics - EU a fragile hope for Istanbul's Christians


"The recent bombings of Christian Churches in Iraq prompts us to ask, is there a Christian religion or even a Christian minority in Iraq and even in the Middle East? The following study is an overview of these Christian religions in this troubled area following a trip to this area along with members of the National Council of Churches several years ago."

Hellenic News of America

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Many in Europe turning up their noses at Turkey

"Turkish membership could help revitalize the EU with its economic potential and growing population, the British official said. He warned, however, that it also would bankrupt the bloc's current budget and spell an end to its common agricultural policy, the system of lucrative farm subsidies that has long been the union's strongest binding force."

"Yet the debate has taken on racist and xenophobic undertones in Austria, where local slang is peppered with disparaging expressions: If something's been "Turked," it's been faked or swindled, and "Turkish luggage" is a crumpled grocery sack." - Many in Europe turning up their noses at Turkey

As Istanbul Awakens

"Take an early morning tour . . . of a city that has been continuously lived in for 2,500 years."

The Star Online: Lifestyle