by Uzay Bulut
The day after American pastor Andrew Brunson was released from Turkish prison, another Christian who had been living for nearly two decades in the country was detained by Turkish authorities, and told that he had two weeks to leave the country -- without his wife and three children. The American-Canadian evangelist, David Byle, not only suffered several detentions and interrogations over the years, but he had been targeted for deportation on three occasions. Each time, he was saved by court rulings. This time, however, he was unable to prevent banishment, and left the country after two days in a detention center.
Brunson and Byle are among many Christian clerics who have fallen victim to Turkey's aversion to Christianity. In its annual Human Rights Violations Reports, published since 2009, Turkey's Association of Protestant Churches details Turkey's systematic discrimination against Protestants, including verbal and physical attacks; nor does the Turkish government recognize the Protestant community as a "legal entity," denying it the right to freely establish and maintain places of worship.