A year after the martyrdom of three Christians in Malatya, Turkey’s tiny Christian community gathered recently to honour their memories and pray for their sorrowing families. Turks Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel and German Tilmann Geske were tied up, taunted for their faith in Christ, tortured and then killed with knives in Turkey’s south-eastern city of Malatya in April 2007.
Murdered in the Zirve Publishing office by five young Turkish Muslims who claimed to be defending Turkey and Islam from Christian missionaries, the three men left behind two widows, five fatherless children and a grieving fiancée.
The memorial began in a small village cemetery in eastern Turkey and continued over the weekend with a nationwide memorial service in Istanbul, which drew more than 900 Christians.
Speaking at the service, Izmir pastor Zekai Tanyar pleaded for Turkish officials to ‘awaken to the realities’ taught in Christian Scriptures. ‘Those who sow death cannot reap life’, he said. ‘Those who sow evil cannot reap goodness’.