Turkey’s highest court upholds expulsion of 9 foreign Christians for ‘missionary activities’

Jun 14, 2024 by

By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post.

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has confirmed the government’s decision to expel nine foreign Christians for alleged “missionary activities,” labeling them a national security risk.

The court ruled that this designation, under the controversial “N-82” immigration code, does not violate the foreigners’ rights despite their legal residence status in the country. The majority cited the “framework of the wide discretion of the public authorities regarding immigration and border controls.”

“As a matter of fact, the applicants have no complaints that they encountered any obstruction or discriminatory treatment in fulfilling their religious beliefs while they lived in Turkey,” the ruling states. “In addition, it should also be taken into consideration that applicants Helmut Frank and Matthew Vern Black, for whom the N-82 restriction code was applied, left Turkey voluntarily, while applicants Amanda Jolyn Krause and Jeremy Lauren Lambert are still in Turkey.”

The decision marks a significant moment in Turkey’s judicial history, being the first joint decision concerning multiple N-82 code cases, according to the legal group ADF International.

In a statement, the religious freedom legal organization stated that the court has historically ruled unanimously against foreign Christians in similar cases. But this latest ruling showed division among the judges, allowing dissenting opinions to surface.

Constitutional Court President Judge Zühtü Arslan presented a dissenting opinion. He argued that there was no evidence suggesting that the appellants’ activities threatened public order or security.

Read here.


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