Three Christians, Employees of a Christian Publishing, Tortured, Stabbed and Killed

Country: Turkey

Date of incident: April 18, 2007

Three Christians tortured, stabbed, and killed in Turkey. Four of the five men detained, confessed having committed the crime for nationalist and religious reasons.

April 18th, 2007: Three Christians, one German and two Turkish, were tortured, stabbed and killed in Turkey. All three had worked for the Christian publishing house Zirve in Malatya. Four of the five men detained, confessed having committed the crime for nationalist and religious reasons. Zirve is the location of the Malatya Evangelist Church office, where Christian literature is printed and distributed. 46-year-old German, Tilmann Geske, father of three, and 35-year-old Pastor Necati Aydin, father of two, held a Bible study in the mornings, sometimes attended by other believers in the town. On the morning of April the 18th, 32-year-old Ugur Yuksel and five young men, all under 20 years old, attended the bible study group. The five men had been to a by-invitation-only evangelistic service that Pastor Necati Aydin had arranged at a hotel conference room in the city. They where thought to be “seekers”, interested in the Christian faith. After Aydin was reading a chapter from the Bible that morning, the assault began. The young men tied Geske’s, Aydin’s and Yuksel’s hands and feet to the chairs and then tortured them for almost three hours, before they slit their throats. A colleague called the police after he was unable to enter the locked office and heard disturbing noises coming from inside the building,  Both Aydin and Geske were already dead when local police discovered their bodies. Although Yuksel was still breathing and rushed to a nearby hospital for massive blood transfusions, he died soon afterwards. Four of the five men that where arrested, reportedly confessed to killing the Christians "to save religion" and as "a lesson for the enemies of Islam." The killers were found carrying a letter that read in part: “We are brothers. We are going to death. We may not return again…Forgive our debts.” The trial started in November 2007 and is currently (as of May 2008) ongoing. They now deny having personally killed any of the victims and defend themselves by blaming each other. The prosecution is asking for three life sentences for each of the five defendants. Sources: News about the trials: