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Historic Coastal District

 Invest in the Future of the Church in Turkey

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About Us:

 My name is Pastor Emre and my wife’s name is Gülşen.We have two children.We both came to Christ in 2000 in different cities and were married in 2006. That same year I became a pastor and we served in Adana. In 2009 we served for several years in Izmit, helping to re-establish the church there. By God’s grace we saw the work grow and were able to appoint a local brother as pastor. In 2013, I was the target of an assassination plot, but thankfully the Lord intervened just before the attempt was to take place. 

 

In 2016 we moved to Istanbul and began praying about church planting in the district of Tuzla. However it wasn’t until 2019 that our prayers about church planting were answered and God provided us with a rental space and brothers and sisters to 

serve with. The church has slowly grown and we established our own foundation in 2023 to provide the appropriate legal status and protection in the eyes of the state. In 2016, we also started a Christian radio ministry, Radio Maranata (www.radyomaranata.com). 

Vision

Our vision is to preach the gospel and make disciples amongst Turkish-speakers, establishing churches in places where Christ 

has yet to be named. 

Why a foundation?

It’s important to know that Protestant churches in Turkey have no legal status. The Turkish government prefers to deal with 

institutions rather than individuals. The Papacy serves this function for the Catholic Church and the Patriarchate for the Orthodox Church. For this reason, Protestant churches have also started to establish associations and foundations in order to be recognized by the state. The foundation status gives us the freedom to legally gather, rent space, and evangelize. It will also allow us to engage with local authorities and officials on various issues. 

Why a building-based ministry approach?

In many parts of the world like Turkey where there are few believers, people prefer to meet in homes. However, this method is not appropriate for the effective spread of the gospel in Turkey. There are several reasons for this such as the following: 

Many radical Islamic sects meet in homes here. This is well 

known among the public and even reported in the news. Both 

the police and national intelligence agency are 

uncomfortable with these meetings and prevent them from 

continuing. 

Turkish people learn about the Christian faith through 

television and movies. They’re familiar with historical church 

buildings in our country and thus both the laws and the 

thinking of Turks makes meeting in a building more 

appropriate. 

For these reasons, we not only choose to gather in a building, 

but also to furnish our building appropriately as a respected 

place of worship. This helps create an environment where 

people are open to hearing the gospel. 

 

The need to purchase a building

It’s very difficult in Turkey to find and keep rental spaces for worship. Building owners are extremely reluctant to rent to a church, the noise is a problem for neighbors, and few places are even suitable to meet as a large group for worship Opportunities to use schools and cinemas are not available like they are in the US. Thus renting is not a good long-term option for an established church in Turkey. We don’t want to start a church that is here today and gone tomorrow, but rather one that will last for generations and even foster the establishment of other churches. Having our own building can significantly help toward these ends. 

Our desire to purchase our current building

We currently have access to 3 of the 6 floors of our current building. There are 3 floors (units) besides what we use for the church and they each currently have a tenant. Our neighbors pay a total rent of about $1,500 - $2,000 and we pay $1,500 for the 2 floors and the basement. So the building has a total rental income of about $3,000 per month.The owner is a retired, elderly man and his son doesn’t like that he is renting to a church. We think the owner would be willing to sell us the entire building somewhere in between 1-1.5 million dollars. Because of Turkey’s current economic conditions, a mortgage loan here is not a good option. The interest rates are very high, close to 50%, so it seems unwise to borrow here.Something like a corporate loan (or loans) from trusted partners in the US would make more sense. Besides the donations that come in, if an organization, church etc. lends us some of the cost of buying the building, we can pay it back in the form of monthly payments instead of paying the high interest rates in Turkey. Our currently monthly giving combined with projected rental income should cover this.

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