At least three people are believed to have been killed after a suicide bomber blew himself up on Friday at the entrance of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, with Islamic terrorist group al-Qaida believed to be the prime suspects.
The bomber, who has not yet been identified, apparently entered the embassy and got through the first X-ray machine leading to the visa section, before he detonated himself, NBC News reported. Among those killed was one of the guards at the gate, and another unidentified person is believed to have also been killed. Turkish TV showed an injured woman being carried on a stretcher to an ambulance.
A Danish journalist and author is releasing a new book on the biblical ark of Noah, claiming that a 2010 discovery made by a Chinese-Kurdish research team is most probably the famous vessel that has captivated research efforts for generations.
Noah's ark, described in the book of Genesis in a narrative of how Noah is chosen by God to build a giant ark to save his family and a pair of every animal on Earth, is believed to have settled in the mountainous Ararat region in present-day Turkey, but no widely-accepted scientific evidence has been established for its existence.
"I didn't write about the ark in order to convince people that God exists or that the Bible speaks the truth. I just couldn't stop investigating and writing about this great discovery," Henri Nissen said to The Christian Post in an email about his book, Noah's Ark: Ancient Accounts and New Discoveries. more >>
Thousands of Muslims in Turkey, preparing to celebrate the Ottoman conquest of the country 500 years ago, are demanding that authorities allow them to convert the Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque, despite laws forbidding worship at what was once the world's most renowned Christian church.
Instanbul's Hagia Sophia, which means "Holy Wisdom" in Greek, was completed in 537 by Emperor Justinian and considered the center of Orthodox Christianity for more than 900 years. It was converted in the mid-15th century into a mosque after conquest by the Ottomans and became a source of pride for the Muslim world.
On Saturday, local time, thousands of Muslims turned out to the historic site to protest Turkey's 1934 law that makes it illegal for any religious group to hold services on its grounds. The Hagia Sophia was declared a museum that same year. more >>
A group of Turkish women angry that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared abortion to murder have branded him a "woman's enemy" and planned to protest the government on Tuesday.
Erdogan reportedly made the controversial comments on Friday at a population conference where he labeled abortion a conspiracy to curb Turkey's economic growth.
"You either kill a baby in the mother's womb or you kill it after birth. There's no difference," the Turkish PM said, according to AFP. He also compared abortion to Uludere, referring to the botched attack on Kurds by Turkish warplanes in December that claimed 34 lives. more >>
ISTANBUL – Judges in Turkey's southeastern city of Malatya have announced the preparation of an indictment in the case of three murdered Christians that is expected to reveal a shadowy network that incited five young men to carry out the crime.
The Third Criminal Court of Malatya is expected to announce the indictment on April 9, followed by a week of witness testimony that judges believe will link the five murder suspects to the "masterminds" who prompted them, plaintiff lawyers said. The brutal murders of Turkish Christians Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel and German Christian Tilmann Geske at the Zirve Publishing House by five young men in 2007 are believed to be part of a conspiracy to overthrow the current pro-Islamic government.
"In the next court hearing, the new indictment will certainly be ready, and the case will deepen as the suspects and instigators are judged together," co-plaintiff lawyer Erdal Dogan told Compass. more >>
ISTANBUL – In an unprecedented meeting, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Turkey last week expressed his concerns and hopes for the country's Christian minority to members of the Turkish Parliament.
The visit took place in Ankara after Speaker of the Parliament Cemil Cicek invited Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to meet with a parliamentary commission responsible for revising the country's constitution. Christians in Turkey are hoping that the new constitution will guarantee them the ability to worship, educate their communities and conduct their religious activities with the same rights as their Muslim-majority counterparts.
The Feb. 20 meeting is a sign that progress is being made, but more progress is needed, said the patriarch, who as "archbishop of Constantinople" is "first among equals" in the Eastern Orthodox Communion. more >>