The trial went very well today and without incident. The police were ready and made plans to get Hakan and Turan in and out of the courthouse without problems. Several reporters and a few dozen nationalists were waiting outside the courthouse while the trial went on for an hour (like last time, no press or visitors were allowed in the courtroom). After the trial, and unbeknownst to the press and nationalists (but known to us), the police escorted Hakan, Turan, and their lawyer out the back door of the courthouse and safely to their car before anyone knew about it. A few minutes later, the prosecuter, Kerincsiz, and his followers came out the front door and left without giving a press conference. They appeared to be angry and it was probably because things had not gone so well for them in the courtroom. We learned that the prosecution’s main witness had been caught lying and even Kerincsiz was caught in a lie. When asked where the other two witnesses were, Kerincsiz told the judge that they could not get permission to leave their high school to be there. The judge responded that the schools are on winter break. Reports are that Kerincsiz was glowing like Rudolf’s nose.
Unfortunately the case was not thrown out, so Hakan and Turan will be back in court on April 18th. However, despite this bit of bad news, today’s trial did go well on all other counts and we can be thankful that there was no violence or other incidents.
Thank you for your prayers.
There will likely be a newspaper write up about it tomorrow which I will post a link to if you are interested in reading more about it.
Please intercede for Hakan and Turan, two Turkish Christians who face their second trial on Monday, January 29. There have been no new developments in regards to the actual trial—no new evidence (which means no evidence at all), no new charges, and no acquittal. However, Kemal Kerincsiz, the infamous ultranational lawyer who was at the last trial, is getting much bad press in light of the murder of the Turkish/Armenian journalist, Hrant Dink, in Istanbul last week. Kerincsiz had brought Article 301 charges (insulting Turkishness) against Dink in the past few years and many blame him for fanning the flames of hatred toward Armenians and other minorities that resulted in this murder. Unfortunately, Hakan and Turan have a connection with Dink in that they too are minorities being harassed with Article 301 charges by Kerincsiz. This could also make them a target of ultranational violence. This is not meant to be alarmist, but to call everyone to fervent prayer for all aspects of this trial.
A few prayer points: Pray that God would use this trial for His good.
Pray that Hakan and Turan would stand strong in the face of lies, intimidation, persecution, and insult.
Pray that Hakan’s wife, Esay, would have peace and endurance throughout the trial.
Pray that justice would prevail and they would be acquitted on Monday.
Pray that there would be no escalation of violence or protests after the trial.
Pray that God would use this trial for His good.
We all hope that God would work in ways we cannot imagine and that He would accomplish great things for His glory as a result of this trial.
As I was feeding Bailey the other night I looked out to see the sunset. And it was beautiful! It had the prettiest reds and purples. The picture isn't great but it does look nice with the old city in the background.
On Monday I lost my cell phone. I couldn't find it anywhere in the house so I went about my day. I had decided to do some laundry. Then while in the middle of all this laundry I had a feeling that I may have washed my phone. And my feeling was right. I had put my cell phone in my pocket the night before and forgot to take it out of my pants. So it washed for one hour. I thougth for sure I had killed it but nope it worked! At first there was a lot of condensation on the screen but in the last couple of days it has cleared right up! Thank the Lord! It works as good as new!
Bailey loves to look at herself in the mirror. She loves our room because we have a full length mirror where she can stand and play. She waves to herself in the mirror all the time. And she also likes to lick the mirror.
Bailey loves to look out the window and watch the birds (mostly seagulls) flying around the apartment. This day she crawled over to the window to look out. Most of the time she is in her highchair and stares out the window while she is eating to get a glimpse of the birds!
Bailey has also started standing on her own. She is still a little shakey but she can do it for a few seconds before she falls. This is the first day she started doing it so now she is much better. She will be walking before we know it!
Billy and I had a date on Saturday night. The first one we've had in a long time. We went to one of our favorite restaurants Leonardo's. We've posted about it several times it's the place with great steaks, pork and a yummy chocolate souffle!
It is hard to believe Bailey is 10 months old today! Everyday just gets better and better. She is into everything! She is crawling all over the house, standing up and cruising the furniture, saying "dada" and "mama" and giving lots of love! We weighed her the other night and she is 20 1/2 lbs. She also has eight teeth. So as you can see it has been a busy month. We are truly blessed! These are a few pictures of today.
Well as most of you know every Sunday we eat at the Chinese restaurant at the mall. Well today they had opened a new restaurant! sbarro! Our whole group was excited. So it seems we will be taking a break from Chinese for awhile to try out the menu at sbarro. I know this doesn't sound too exciting to those of you in the states but to us it is a big deal. So just be happy for us!
Tonight we ate a traditional Turkish meal called Iskender. This is thinly sliced lamb meat over bread with a little red sauce and then yogurt on the side. It is mine and Billy's favorite. Gaga ate it and liked it. She thinks she ate beef though! Shhh! Don't tell her. And then we had a favorite dessert called kunefe, which is shredded wheat with cheese soaked in a kind of syrup. We are having a good time with NeeNee and Gaga.
Well this week was a Muslim holiday in Turkey. Sunday started the sacrifice holiday that Muslims observe during the Haj. Haj is a trip all Muslims must take at least once in their lives in order to achieve the five pillars of their faith. So during the sacrifice holiday they slaughter sheep, goats, cows and then eat the meat or give it to neighbors or the poor. Our neighbors always give us meat. This year Billy's mom made a really good stew out of it. If your curious the meat was beef. Continue to pray for our neighbors as they one day will know of the One True Sacrifice, Jesus, who gave His life for them.