Thursday, June 12, 2008

Former priest turned Muslim turns out to be military man

Former priest turned Muslim turns out to be military man
A former Turkish priest who had been working with foreign missionaries and then converted to Islam was actually an intelligence officer with the Turkish Land Forces, a Turkish daily has reported, but he has denied acting as a "provocateur."
"Records from the Emekli Sandığı Mersin regional office show that Çınar had been registered on Aug. 16, 1992 as a 'special sergeant' with the record number of 706661XX and his premiums have been paid regularly," stated the daily.

The story indicated that the Emekli Sandığı office confirmed that Çınar is a member of the Turkish Land Forces. The Emekli Sandığı is only for public personnel and individuals who cannot pay their own premiums. Press consultant for the Association of the Turkish Protestant Churches İsa Karataş said they were not concerned about Çınar's statements as long as such statements do not put forward slanderous information about their community.

"If he is really an informant, this is not a big surprise to us. We know that our churches have been closely watched, we are not complaining about this. We want the state to know what we are really doing but we want such informants -- if there are any -- to report the truth to whatever organization they are working for," Karatas said in a written statement to Today's Zaman.

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