God Reports
6/7/13 at 06:20 PM 2 Comments

Protests Spread in Turkey, Christian Ministry Calls for Prayer

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Protesters in Turkey

By Mark Ellis

As protests spread to 61 of Turkey’s 84 provinces, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan rejected criticism by the European Union over his government’s excessive use of force.

"Similar protests have taken place in Britain, France, Germany and bigger ones in Greece," Erdogan told reporters. His government is open to "democratic demands, but would not accept "terrorism, violence and vandalism.”

The protests started when a small group of activists attempted to stop the demolition of Gezi Park, one of Istanbul's last green spaces. About 50 people set up a camp among the trees. Riot police moved in with brutal force, using teargas on peaceful protesters. Three people have died since the protests began, 4,000 have been injured, and 900 arrested.

“The nation of Turkey is in an uproar,” says Joy Edwards, with Aslan International. Edwards is the daughter of Canadian missionaries in Turkey, ministering there for 26 years. “Over 240,000 people are protesting the government,” she notes. “It’s mostly young people looking for change.”

Edwards decries the force used by police against peaceful demonstrators. “They are kicking people, using teargas, and using nail-studded bats,” Edwards reports. Three “bombs” were detonated in front of one of the churches closely associated with their ministry. Pepper gas spray also entered another Turkish pastor's home, she says.

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