Türkiye increases deportations ahead of March elections

By December 13, 2023

Türkiye (MNN) — Türkiye sends foreigners on one-way trips to their home countries.

(Photo courtesy of Heart4Iran)

This summer, Türkiye’s new interior minister began increasingly deporting non-Turkish people to curry favor with voters before the March elections. Detainments and forced deportations are rising as year-end approaches:

According to statistics from the interior minister, since mid-June, 112,000 undocumented foreigners have been detained, of which 48,000 have been deported. Lawyers and activists consulted for this article stress that among the detained are asylum-seeking individuals, people who are in the process of renewing their residency permits and even those whose documentation is in order.

“After COVID, they [began] sending Iranian Christians back to Iran,” says Pastor Amir Javadzadeh, an Iranian Christian leader who partners with Heart4Iran.

“[Now,] after the recent [revolution] about Women. Life. Freedom., they are doing even more [deportations.]”

Believers immediately encounter persecution when they return to Iran. Authorities “keep them in prison” without access to lawyers or human rights advocates, Javadzadeh says.

“The Iranian government [says,] ‘If we interview you on TV and you say you’re a fool, or you’re stupid [because] you became Christian, we can give the better life to you.’ Praise the Lord, none of the Christians did these things.”

Heart4Iran is a network of ministries furthering the Great Commission in Iran and beyond. Learn how you can help Iranian Christians in Türkiye here.

Ask the Lord to meet the daily needs of His people. “Iranian people in Turkey are suffering so many things,” Javadzadeh says.

“Everything [has become] very, very expensive. Some people [are] freezing [or] they have nothing to eat.”

Pray He will provide a safe haven for believers. “Iranian [Christians] run away from Iran and go to Turkey, and they have no other place to go,” Javadzadeh says.

“They are selling everything they have to be free to worship, but even in Turkey, they are not safe anymore.”



Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Meg Jerrard/Unsplash.

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