CNA Staff, Jun 25, 2020 / 16:41 pm
According to a scholar of comparative religion, Christians in Turkey are being persecuted by the Turkish government, in part to distract attention from its recent setbacks in foreign policy.
Alexander Görlach, a senior fellow with the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, said that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan needs a distraction from his failures, and Christians can provide just that.
"While the world is busy fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, dealing with mass unemployment and a global recession, the Turkish government is taking advantage of the situation to further pressure minorities," Görlach said in a June 23 opinion piece for Deutsche Welle, a German public broadcaster.
His assessment of the plight of Turkish Christians, one of the oldest populations of Christians in the world, comes after years of systemic discimination against minorities. Minorities make up 0.2% of the Turkish population, according to the 2020 United States Commission on International Religious Freedom report on Turkey. The vast majority of the population, including Erdogan, are Sunni Muslims.