Turkish man shoots at Italian consulate to protest Papal visit
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A young man was arrested yesterday after firing three shots into the air in front of the Italian consulate in Istanbul in protest of Pope Benedict's scheduled visit to Turkey later this month. Ibrahim Ak, 26, was immediately arrested.

"I did what every Muslim has to do. God willing, the Pope will not come to Turkey, but if he does he will see what will happen to him," Ak was quoted as saying by the DHA news agency, while he was sitting in a police car after his detainment.

Turkish police sources told Italian news organization ANSA that the gunman said during his interrogation: "I would kill the Pope with my own hands if I could. I hope that after what I did today, others will protest as well.”

The man reportedly told police that he acted alone and that he was not a member of a fundamentalist group.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told Reuters that this “isolated incident” has not affected preparations for the Pope’s trip, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1.

The main purpose of the Pope’s trip is to meet Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, head of the world's Orthodox Christians. However, the visit has stirred controversy and some Muslims in the country, angered by the Pope’s September lecture in which he cited a 14th-century emperor who was critical of Islam, have said the Pope should not visit Turkey.

In what some Vatican observers are considering a diplomatic snub, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan announced this week he would not meet with the Pope, choosing instead to attend a NATO meeting in Estonia, which is being held at that time.  The Vatican, however, is downplaying the prime minister’s decision, saying they knew a meeting might not be possible from the start.

Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981 and is currently serving a jail sentence in Istanbul for murder and robbery, offered warnings through his lawyer that the Pope should not visit the Muslim country, in September.

Violence against Roman Catholic clergy in Turkey had risen in the past year, even prior to the Pope’s remarks. In the most serious incident, a youth shot dead an Italian priest while he prayed in his church in the Black Sea port of Trabzon.  A French priest survived a knife attack in Samsun, also on the Black Sea, and a Slovenian Franciscan friar received death threats.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 27, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30