Ryan Keating, a Christian PhD student in Ankara, has requested prayer for his situation as his residency has been cancelled and he has been issued with an entry ban into Turkey.
On 17th October Ryan returned to Turkey after a week-long trip abroad. At the airport, police took him into custody and told him that he had been issued with a life-long entry ban into Turkey. No explanation was given as to the reason for the ban despite Ryan asking for information.
Ryan is a PhD student at Ankara University studying in the department of Philosophy of Religion and he had his residency because of his enrolment at the University.
Ryan’s wife Ness and their children remain in Ankara and it is still not known if their residency has also been cancelled.
Ryan was involved with the Ankara Refugee Ministry and is a member of Kurtulus Church, Ankara. It is suspected that the cancellation of his residency and the entry ban are related to these activities, which are however completely legal.
It is believed that this action against Ryan is part of a wider government campaign in Turkey to use the state of emergency declared after the failed coup attempt of 15th July to remove “undesirables” from government posts and other spheres of influence. Although there was little initial impact on Christians, the Association of Protestant Churches (TeK) now reports that Turkey’s Christian communities are increasingly being affected. In particular, a number of expatriate Christians are facing residency issues, deportation or entry bans.
On 7th October Andrew Brunson, pastor of Dirilis Church in Izmir, was detained with his wife Norine and told that they faced deportation and an entry ban. Yesterday (19th October) Norine was released from the immigration centre, but Andrew remains in detention.
MAY BE CIRCULATED TO GENERAL MAILING LISTS AND OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS, AND QUOTED FROM FREELY IN REPORTS CITING “MIDDLE EAST CONCERN” AS THE SOURCE OF THE INFORMATION.
Prayer has been requested that:
a. the residency issues for Ryan will be resolved, and that he will be able to return to Turkey in due course
b. God will give the Keatings guidance as to the next steps, and that they will know His peace and comfort at this difficult time
c. the reasons behind the cancellation of residency and the entry ban will be made known
d. Ryan’s lawyer will be able to acquire the necessary documentation and effectively contest these orders from the Interior Ministry
e. Andrew Brunson will be released soon and reunited with Norine
f. the threats of deportations and entry bans against expatriate Christians in Turkey will cease, and that Turkish officials will respect the rights of Christians – both locals and expatriates – and have the opportunity to hear the Gospel and choose to follow Jesus