When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Christian praying in southeastern Turkey
Christian praying in southeastern Turkey

DIYARBAKIR — When Aykan Erdemir, a parliamentary member from Turkey's Republican People's Party, tried to visit the website of a Christian church located in the country's southeastern city of Diyarbakir, he was surprised to see that the parliament's filtering system recognized it as pornography.

The preacher of Diyarbakir Protestant church, Ahmet Guvener, said he thought it was a joke when Erdemir first called him in to discuss it. He knew that access to the church's website had been blocked from government computers, but it was a complete surprise to learn that the parliament system classified the website as pornography.

"You are the state," Guvener was quoted as saying. "You can say, "This country has another religion." You can say, "You are a missionary." I would not be offended at all because these are known accusations. But you are accusing a religious institution of being pornographic. This is really hard to tolerate."

Guvener also mentioned the case of American preacher Jeremiah Mattix, who worked for more than a decade in the overwhelmingly Muslim country but was deported after applying for an indefinite visa. "He has been instructing us on theology for 12 years," Guvener said. "You do not allow him a residence permit for 12 years. Then you deport him from the country."

Guvener noted that to deport Mattix authorities applied an immigration rule that is normally reserved for troublemakers. "This article is practiced against prostitution, hooliganism, mendicancy and pimping. You practice it against a man of the cloth," he said angrily.

Guvener also said that six other Christian families were deported from Diyabakir in the past. Guvener said there is no direct pressure on him or his community, but he feels sure that his phones are wiretapped.

"Let them gather us, put us in a ship and leave at sea," he said. "Then they would be rid of us."

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

Why Inflation In Iran Is Hitting Even Harder

Inflation is nothing new in Iran. But its staggering rise is pushing millions of Iranians toward abject poverty.

At the Grand Bazaar in Tehran

Roshanak Astaraki

-Analysis-

As inflation in Iran spikes to record heights, President Ebrahim Raisi and his Economy Minister Ehsan Khanduzi insist the government is working to curb the price hikes wreaking havoc on household budgets. Yet there is very little in Raisi's year-long record to indicate earnestness in getting a grip on inflation or mitigating its impact on the poor. The endemic inflation of the last four decades, and particularly the explosive inflation of the last three years, are forging a frightening picture of daily life for many Iranians.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ