Middle East Concern, along with Turkish Christians, have welcomed a positive court ruling in the long-running struggle for justice following the murder of three Christians in 2007.
The Malatya Administrative Court has ruled that the Interior Ministry and the Malatya Governor’s Office were negligent in their duty to family members of the victims and must pay damages.
On 18th April 2007, Necati Aydin, Ugur Yuksel and Tilmann Geske were murdered at the Zirve Christian publishing house in Malatya, in eastern Turkey. Five men, aged 19 and 20 at the time, were arrested at the scene and charged with the murders.
It was believed that the Turkish authorities had information prior to the incident and had failed to put in place any measures to protect the victims.
In 2008, the families of the victims opened a case against the Interior Ministry and the Malatya Governor’s Office for negligence, and the Malatya Administrative Court has now awarded compensation for emotional distress and physical harm to the wife and children of Tilmann Geske. Damages have also been awarded to the wife of Necati Aydin and the father of Ugur Yuksel.
Turkish Christians have been discouraged by the long delays in the ongoing trial of those accused of being involved in the planning and carrying out of the murders. The trial has already had 109 hearings and in 2015, the public prosecutor for the case was changed four times.
Of the 21 defendants, only one is still in detention, and that is for a separate crime.
The judgement of the Malatya Administrative Court and the decision to award compensation is a welcome step towards justice being upheld, and an acknowledgement that state authorities failed in their duty towards the three Christians.
Turkish Christians are thankful for the recent court decision and request our continued prayers, especially for:
- The families of the victims, and others close to them, to continue to know the peace and protection of Jesus as the trial process continues.
- The trial to be brought to a conclusion and just sentences be given to those responsible for the murders.
- All those who aided or perpetrated the murders to have a deep conviction about what they have done, and understand the depths of Jesus’ forgiveness.
- All Christians involved to know the Spirit’s enabling, equipping and assisting as they persevere in their efforts to promote justice.
- All judges, officials, lawyers and journalists involved to hear the gospel of Jesus, and be drawn to the Father’s love, forgiveness and acceptance.
Psalm 37 vs 6: “He will make your vindication shine like the light, and the justice of your cause like the noonday.”