On April 18, 2007, three Christian men were tortured and killed by five young men in Malatya, Turkey. I remember seeing the story in the news. It was terrible and tragic, but there was little information beyond the fact that they were stabbed multiple times and some generic language about religious tensions in Turkey. I knew three men were killed. I knew that they were targeted because they were believed to be Christians. I couldn’t say anything for certain beyond that. Now, after reading Martyrs of Malatya, I know them as Necati Aydin, Uğur Yuksel, and Tilmann Geske, brothers in Christ. They had lives of their own—stories of their own—before the events of April 18, 2007. This book tells their stories.
The author, writing under a pen name, originally wrote the book for distribution in Turkey. Because of the cultural dominance of Islam, as well as suspicions that missionary activity is orchestrated by Western intelligence agencies to undermine the religious, social, and political unity of Turkey, Wright is careful to show how these men were motivated by their love for Jesus and their desire to see the Turkish people know about Jesus’s love for them.
The author’s purpose for the book was not solely for evangelism and defending Christian witness in Turkey. He also wanted to make sure these men were known and remembered by Christians who may have seen the headlines, but didn’t know who these men were. I’ve always enjoyed biographies. Our routine day-to-day activities distract us from the greater picture of our lives. Biographers show us that our lives are much more meaningful than we often realize. And as significant as the martyrdom of Necati, Uğur, and Tilmann was, their lives were even more significant. It is hoped that their deaths will result in more people coming to Christ than before. I hope that their lives, as recorded in this book, will result in more believers taking a bold stand for the gospel.
I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of providing my review.