Turkey (MNN) — Turkish fighter jets killed 11 people in Syria on Sunday, including a journalist. Turkey says the attack was a response to an Istanbul explosion last week.
That bombing killed six people and injured 81 in a tourism-heavy street. Bruce Allen with FMI says, “It was a woman (the alleged perpetrator) named Ahlam Albashir. She can be seen on security footage planting the suspicious package that was, in fact, a bomb. Subsequent information released about her indicates that she was trained by the PYD, a Syrian Kurdish group.”
“Forty-six people were arrested in the hours following the attack.”
But this organization denied any role in the bombing. Allen says they have never even threatened to carry out attacks against Turkey. “Reports are now surfacing that Albashir had several telephone calls with a member of the ultra-right wing Nationalist Action Party, a coalition partner of Turkish president Erdogan’s governing majority.”
Some worry that Turkish President Erdogan may have organized the attack as an excuse to strike Syria or to consolidate his power. Next year, Turkey will hold a presidential election.
Immediately after the attack, Turkey instituted an internet blackout. Because of this, Allen initially knew more about the attack than local FMI partners. “Pastor Dante, an FMI partner serving in Istanbul, is just asking for prayers and calm to be restored to the city.”
In a time of fear and uncertainty, pray the love of Turkish Christians would reveal Jesus.
Christians make up a tiny percentage of the population in Turkey. Pray for their witness as they celebrate Christmas. Allen says, “It’s a time for the Christian minority to share their faith with people and say, ‘This is why we celebrate this holiday.’ I know another partner that we have in the capital city of Ankara. His church is planning an outreach to connect with 1,000 Muslims during a Christmas festival.”
The header photo shows a memorial service after the Istanbul bombing. (Photo courtesy of Kurmanbek, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)