ADVERTISING
 
Friday, September 21   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Faith and political views
In my church...




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



16 years in power
 

Erdogan’s power challenged in snap election

The popularity of the powerful President is falling strongly. “None of the parties have mentioned religious freedom” in the campaign, says Turkish Protestant Pastor Ihsan Özbek.

AUTHOR Jonatán Soriano, Joel Forster ANKARA 21 JUNE 2018 12:34 h GMT+1
President Erdogan, speaking at an outdoor event during the 2018 Presidential campaign. / Facebook Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The fast moves to turn Turkey into a political system with an even-stronger President might be turning against Recep Tayyip Erdogan.



The ‘reis’, as many call him, passed the test of the April 2017 referendum to win more control over the Parliament, the Supreme Court and budgetary policies. But even then, one year ago, his aggressive campaign only helped him to get 51.3% of the vote, losing in many big cities.



This year, Erdogan took another risky decision by calling a snap Presidential and Parliamentary election, advancing the vote 18 months.



Surveys now say the opposition could defeat the President’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Parliament this Sunday, 24 June. Three opposition forces have joined in a coalition: the Republican People’s Party (CHO, Secular Social Democrats), the IYI Parti (IP, Conservatives) and the Saadet Partisi (SP, Islamists). They have real chances of winning the majority of seats and stand up to Erdogan for the first time in many years.



 



A HISTORIC MOMENT



“Erdogan’s position is not easy for the first time in the last 16 years”, Pastor Ihsan Özbek told Evangelical Focus. He has been serving as the President of the Association of Protestant Churches of Turkey for the last years.



It is not difficult to sense how the popularity of Erdogan “has been falling”. The President needs more than half of the votes to be re-elected, but some surveys only give him 48%. Behind him, Muharrem Ince (CHP) is the second strongst candidate, with 28%.



The failed coup in July 15, 2016 initiated a long ‘witch hunt’ against judges, civil servants, journalists, members of the opposition, and even Protestant Christians.



Astonishingly, 115,000 people have been detained or jailed in the last two years. Some were killed or tortured, and many are expecting long prison sentences.



 



PROTESTANTS AND THE ANDREW BRUNSON CASE



We never supported such a coup. If that coup would have been successful, minorities would have bigger problems”, emphasises Özbek.



Fetullah Güllen, an influential political leader living in the US and founder of the Hizmet movement, is often portrayed as Turkey’s number one enemy. He is accused by the administration of organising the coup, and his followers have been catalogued as a terrorist organisation.



Andrew Brunson, a Pastor that served in a church in the Western Turkish city of Izmir for more than 20 years, faces life imprisonment accused of links with this terror group. Brunson has received the public support of the Turkish Protestant churches.



“Pastor Brunson is a part of the Evangelical Alliance and a sincere believer in Christ”, Özbek tells Evangelical Focus. “He has never had a relationship with the FETÖ terror organization nor with a secret service”.



Protestants in Turkey believe the “allegations against him are false and political”, Özbek says.



 



RELIGIOUS MINORITIES ARE NOT A PRIORITY



The religious liberties of minorities in Turkey have not been a talking point during the campaign in the last weeks. Only the Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party of the Peoples (HDP) has spoken about religious minorities, “but they have their own problems”, says Özbek.



This includes the fact that a candidate and other leaders are imprisoned, accused of links with the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), a movement involved in a long fight with the Turkish authorities.



So what are the hopes for Turkey’s future? “We are praying for a politically stable country which will have religious and political freedom”, Özbek concludes.  


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Erdogan’s power challenged in snap election
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
VIDEO Video
 
How does romantic love change over time? How does romantic love change over time?

Psychatrist Pablo Martínez uses a metaphor to explain how romantic love evolves.

 
‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

 
How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility

Author Bruce Little: “We have moved from a sense of responsibility to ‘my personal rights’”.

 
Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’ Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’

How can we reach those who call themselves ‘Christians’ but have not experienced a conversion to Christ? Forty missiologists and mission practitioners came together for a Lausanne Movement global consultation in Rome.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.