Global Worker Spotlight: Mike M. in the Silk Road Nations

mm2

This past month was eventful to say the least!

One Friday night I'd just returned from a shopping trip to Izmir with a friend, when I heard the news that the military had taken over the government. I had a couple of boys who were visiting a friends kids staying with me, both from Istanbul, one of the cities where the attempted coup was being played out. A friend called to say that martial law was in effect and no one was to leave their homes.

Memories of 2005 came back to me, when I experienced another government being overthrown in Kyrgyzstan (I wish they had frequent flyer points or something for people experiencing coups!). Back then, I was a lot closer to the action, living in the capital at the time. So I wasn't too worried about this one happening far away in Istanbul and Ankara. One of the boys was a little upset. I told him it would blow over quickly.

Little did I know how quickly it'd blow over. I stayed up until 3 am watching events unfold. A lot of little mistakes on the part of the coup plotters meant things backfired quickly. The timing, 10 pm meant many people were still awake. When president Erdoğan called the people, via FaceTime on the CNN Türk news channel, to defy the imposed curfew and take to the streets in protest, they responded in the thousands. The failure to control all media, the failure to secure president Erdoğan, commanders ignoring orders to mobilize their units all contributed to a coup attempt that went south quickly. It was quickly apparent that the public and most of the military were opposed to the coup.

mm6Saturday was basically a clean up operation. Thousands of arrests were made. At least 6000 soldiers and commanders are being detained. Hundreds of judges, teachers, public servants have been either been dismissed or arrested. Some say over 20,000 people have been arrested. Somewhere around 300 people, civilians, soldiers and police were killed. 

The blame for the coup is being laid at the feet of a popular Turkish Muslim cleric residing in Pennsylvania, USA, Fethullah Gülen, though little evidence has yet to emerge. Gülen was a one-time ally of Erdoğan who in 2013 had a falling out with the president. You can read more about him here.

Since the coup, every night streets in major cities are full of pro-democracy demonstrators at the encouragement of Erdoğan and the government. Today, a state of emergency was declared that will last three months. We are being told that this is in order to strengthen democracy. But many are worried that the leaders in power will use this to suppress their opponents, a pretense to go beyond the rule of law.

On the news, more video footage and details about that fateful night are starting to emerge. Today as I watched, my heart was broken seeing people shot dead by soldiers and tanks destroying property. I thank God that this coup did not succeed. It would have meant a dramatic downturn for this beautiful country. In meantime, many have suffered.

mm4

Now we need prayers for healing and restoration. It'll take years to sort this all out. In the process, pray that leaders would act sensibly and not abuse their new sense of popularity and power. This nation needs reconciliation, not more revenge.

Prayer 

  • Pray for the follow up of this attempted coup, that healing and reconciliation would fill this land.

  • This has been a difficult year for Turkey so far. Pray that the latter half would make up for the first half.

  • Pray for wisdom and sensitivity as we minister and for increased opportunities to share God's love and message 

Central Asia Trip

August 16-26, I'll be visiting my old stomping grounds in Central Asia during a four-nation, 10 day tour. I'll be traveling with another colleague, exploring ministry opportunities and connecting with leaders. Pray that we can get visas quickly and that all our plans and preparations go smoothly. And pray for God's anointing and guidance as we interact with people we meet.

Podcast

If you'd like to listen into our sermons at Oasis, you can find the audio online at our church website.  Just click here!
  
Contact

silkroad@swissmail.org
Skype: silkroadnations2

Friend on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Forward to a Friend

 

Featured Videos