Turkey (MNN) — Police arrested seven more suspects Monday on
suspicion of having links with the 2007 Zirve Publishing House murders.
They join a larger roundup of 20 suspects taken into custody
on March 17 for their roles in the murders of three Christians: Necati Aydin, Ugur Yuksel and Tilmann Geske.
The arrests were part of a large-scale, nine-province
operation to bring down the masterminds of the slayings. But the sinister nature of the plot went to
the highest levels of the Turkish government.
Investigating authorities say the suspects were part of a
clandestine ultra-nationalist group called Ergenekon, whose sole aim was to
discredit and destabilize the government before the European Union.
Rody Rodeheaver with IN Network confirms this. "The aim of this group is to embarrass the
government of Turkey to the degree that they will not be accepted by the
EU. So, the killings in Malatya in 2007 and several subsequent issues were perpetrated to take the process off-track."
The group is also targeting high-profile Christians as part
of its chaos campaign. Rodeheaver says,
"An assassination plot has been uncovered on our director in Turkey."
Rodeheaver goes on to say that "the government has him on what they
call a VIP list of people who have high visibility and need to be
protected. There was an informant inside
of the Ergenekon organization who got word of this plot and revealed it to the
prosecutor's office and the police."
Last week, their director met with the anti-terrorism task
force responsible for the raids that netted the plot's architects. The government is presenting a strong show of
force in light of Ergenekon's efforts. In fact, a newspaper article about the plot revealed not only the
director's full name, but also his address.
Rodeheaver says their director was assigned a full-time
bodyguard. It's a government effort to
show that they are capable of protecting their citizens, they are listening to their
people, and they are not intimidated by the terrorists.
There's been a rise in threats against believers, and
Rodeheaver says it as gotten so bad that their team members are ready to die
when they walk outside. "The people who
are part of the church in Turkey are very courageous and have a heart to see
Jesus be lifted up and the Gospel be proclaimed. It's our prayer that all of
the people who are there to proclaim the love of Christ will be strengthened by
The next Malatya hearing is scheduled for April 29.