Turkey expelling 2 Christian workers after more than a dozen deported in 2020

Two Christian workers have received deportation orders from the Turkish authorities after more than a dozen others were deported in 2020, the Christian Post said on Monday.

American Christian Joy Subaşıgüller, who is married to a Turkish pastor, received a letter from the Interior Ministry on June 5 informing her that her residency permit had been revoked.

On June 24, American Pastor Zach Balon, who leads the New Hope Church in Istanbul, was told he would not be allowed to return to Turkey as he was about to fly from Istanbul airport with his family, Christian Post said.

Over the past two years, the Turkish authorities have ordered the expulsion of numerous Christian workers. In 2019, 35 of them received deportation orders, while 16 have been expelled in 2020.

Many of those who have been told to leave have mounted court challenges, but these are generally unsuccessful, the website said.

“These workers had all the necessary legal documentation to live and work in the country, yet they are being deported by a government that continues to crack down on Christianity in line with a guiding ethos that equates being Turkish with being Muslim,” Mervyn Thomas, the head of the U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide, said.