Syria: Christians and Yazidis among 250,000 displaced in Afrin

Turkish-backed Syrian rebels walk past a burning shop in Afrin on 18 March. (Photo: BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Significant numbers of Christians and Yazidis have fled their homes in northern Syria’s Afrin enclave, World Magazine reports, ever since Islamist militants joined with the Turkish military this past January to oust Syrian Kurdish fighters from the region along Turkey’s border. Turkey considers the Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units) to . . . Read More

Brunson’s lawyer: secret witness practice ‘absolutely outlandish’

Lawyer Ismail Cem Halavurt speaking with journalists at the entrance to the Sakran Prison complex on 7 May, 2018.
At the close of Turkey’s second trial hearing against US pastor Andrew Brunson, his lawyer has sharply protested the Izmir court’s reliance on secret prosecution witnesses against his client. Jailed for the past 19 months, the 50-year-old Evangelical Presbyterian minister was sent back to his cell in a maximum-security prison . . . Read More

On trial for terrorism and espionage in a Turkish court

On trial for terrorism and espionage in a Turkish court
Just one prisoner, slightly built, came through a side door, escorted on either side by armed gendarmerie soldiers, walking him past rows and rows of empty seats. Dressed in a dark suit and white shirt, he glanced up at the impressive state-of-the-art courtroom, built to accommodate 650 people. Its walls . . . Read More

Turkey calls for life imprisonment of US pastor Andrew Brunson

A photo of the Rev. Andrew Brunson during his time in prison.  Photo courtesy of World Witness
Turkish prosecutors demanded life imprisonment for jailed US pastor Andrew Brunson in an official indictment presented to Izmir’s 2nd Criminal Court yesterday, 13 March. Arrested without bail since October 2016, Brunson is accused of being “a member and executive” of the Islamic movement led by self-exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, . . . Read More

Historic Armenian Cathedral desecrated in southeast Turkey

Historic Armenian Cathedral desecrated in southeast Turkey
Eighteen months after the Turkish government seized control of the largest Armenian cathedral in the Middle East, secretly taken photographs inside Diyarbakir’s Surp Giragos Armenian Apostolic Church reveal considerable damage to the sanctuary and walls of the now desecrated church in southeast Turkey. Published by The Armenian Weekly, the exclusive . . . Read More

Turkey unprepared for Trump’s counter-demand

Turkey unprepared for Trump’s counter-demand
Turkey was unprepared in mid-May when a new bilateral issue emerged with the United States during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s meeting with his US counterpart Donald Trump in Washington DC, Al-Monitor reports. There were already two obvious agenda items between the two presidents: Turkey’s outspoken objection to Washington’s decision . . . Read More