Turkish-Armenian man risks persecution if deported from Greece


09/01/2022 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – An outspoken Turkish-Armenian blogger Sevan Nisanyan faces deportation from Greece after fleeing from a Turkish prison to the island country in 2017. Greece has not extended Nisanyan’s residence permit, although he has since married a Greek woman. His license expired on December 29 and he was subsequently arrested on December 30.

Nisanyan now faces deportation to Turkey, although Greek courts generally refuse to extradite to Turkey those who say they would be persecuted. Nisanyan began a 17-year prison sentence in 2014 for illegal construction. He says the charges stemmed from his activism against restrictions on free speech and the Armenian genocide, which Turkey denies. He was also convicted of blasphemy in Turkey over a 2012 blog post defending an anti-Islam film. The Embassy of Armenia in Greece is helping to support and resolve Nisanyan’s case.

Christianity is often seen as a foreign and Western ideology and therefore a threat to the established “Turkishness” that the country boasts and pursues. Armenians, as a historically Christian people, are included in the perceived threat to the country.

And yet, there are Turks who are still converting to Christianity. A Turkish citizen, who was baptized on Epiphany Day, said: “I felt this faith closer to me. I decided to choose a religion because it is a religion, compatible with the soil of this place and because this faith has a very deep-rooted history.

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