An American mother-of-three has been told she has to leave Turkey, one of the latest incidents in a series of expulsions of Christian expatriates from the country. Joy Anna Crow Subasigüller, originally from Florida, USA, and her Turkish husband Lütfü were married seven years ago. They settled and started a family in Turkey. Lütfü Subasigüller works as a Protestant pastor in Ankara; Joy has been looking after the couple’s three children who were all born in Turkey.

Their settled, peaceful life as a family changed on 5 June when Joy was told by the Turkish migration department to prepare for deportation with apparently no reason given. “This decision makes me very sad — I love Turkey and the Turkish people,” she told Deutsche Welle (DW): “I have lived here for ten years, they were the best years of my life.”

The couple is challenging the decision in court, in the hope they might find out the real reason for banning Joy from staying in Turkey.

It is likely that Subasigüller’s church work is the problem for the Turkish government. Joy is among the more than 50 expatriate Protestant Christian workers who have been denied residence visas or re-entry permits in the past 18 months.

There was a little break due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak but expulsions have now  started again, said Timur Topuz, chair of the Istanbul Protestant Church Foundation, in an interview with the Turkish news site Bianet.

World Watch Monitor