The Association of Protestant Churches of Turkey released, like every year the Human Rights Violations Report. It has been stated that the threats, pressures and the right violations increasingly continued also in 2017.
The summary of this year’s report:
- In 2017 hate crimes committed against Protestant Christians continued, as well as physical attacks against Protestants and churches.
- Problems continued to be faced with regard to requests to establish a place of worship, to continue using a facility for worship, and to use an existing church building.
- During the Christmas and New Year season, there was some apprehension because of billboard and poster notices with hate filled slogans, brochures distributed on the street containing hate language, newspaper articles and television programs which were directed at Christmas and New Year celebrations.
- There was an increase in hate speech directed toward Christians in some national media outlets, in local media and in social media. In addition, there was an increased coupling together of churches and terror organizations in news reports. Some churches became the direct subject of a news report and this raised concern in those churches and among their members.
- The trend for gaining legal status for the Protestant community through establishing associations continued in 2017. However, even though the establishment of associations has helped congregations gain legal status, it has not provided a complete solution. There was an increased pressure on church associations in 2017.
- There was no movement forward in 2017 in regards to protecting the rights of Christians to train their own religious workers. Some foreign church leaders were deported, were denied entry back into Turkey or faced problems with getting their residence permits renewed. A foreign church leader in Izmir remains incarcerated on the grounds of being a member of the FETÖ/PDY terror organization
In the 2017 Human Rights Violation Report, the important titles were: hate crimes and speech, verbal and physical attacks; problems related to places of worship, the right to propagate religion, problems faced in education and compulsory religious class, the problem of training religious leaders, legal entity / right to organize, discrimination, media, dialogue and recommendations.