Thursday, November 02, 2006

Turkish PM shuns the Pope...


Recep Tayyip Erdogan was due to become the first Turkish Prime Minister to receive Pope Benedict XVI during a bridge-building visit this month. Now there will be no meeting. Mr Erdogan will attend a Nato summit in Estonia instead. Turkish officials confirmed that the Pope would meet President Sezer and Ali Bardakoglu, head of the Religious Affairs Directorate and the country's leading cleric.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan can’t endanger his standing with his party’s grass roots by meeting an Islamophobic Pope. Especially with parliamentary and parliamentary elections on the cards in 2007. In 2004, John Esposito of Georgetown University said Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a "bridge builder". Western leaders have been scouring the Muslim world for moderate politicians in the wake of 9/11 who see their future in democracy and pluralism. For George W. and Bliar, Erdogan was perhaps their best find. Time for an urgent re-think gentlemen.

12 comments:

Voyager said...

As i recall it was an Orthodox Leader who invited The Pope and the Turkish State then intervened to make out the invitation was from The President of Turkey to elevate it to a State visit and sideline the Christian Church

CityUnslicker said...

It is a sad reflection of our times that the religous divide between Christianity and Islam is widening further.

vikki said...

Was Saddam Hussein not also a good find.....

Voyager said...

It is a sad reflection of our times that the religous divide between Christianity and Islam is widening further.

Why ?

Ellee said...

I can't see Turkey and the Pope being friends, hence their difficulty re the EU, see here for latest info:

http://www.euractiv.com/en/enlargement/turkey-get-yellow-card/article-159312

Colin said...

Ellee,

Thank you for the informative link. A few clicks further I found the following:

According to the poll published on 24 October in the newspaper Miliyet, only 32% [of Turks] thought that Turkey “must certainly enter the EU” compared to 67% in 2004.

If this trend continues, Erdogan will lose votes by sticking to his plans for EU membership.

Colin said...

In Istanbul, a Muslim has protested against the visit of Pope Benedict in Turkey by firing shots a the Italian consulate .

"I did what ever Muslim should do", said the 26 years old Ibrahim Ak, who he has been arrested after has fired several times in the air. "If Allah wants, the Pope will not come to Turkey. If he comes anyway, he will see what will happen to him here", he said to the news agency DHA while sitting in a police car.

At his arrest, he said "I am happy that I am a Muslim".

istanbultory said...

The sharp descent in Europhilia in Turkey between around 2003 and the present has been dramatic. Bizzarely, he guy who pulled the shooting stunt in protest at the pope's visit did so outside the Italian Consulate...and not the Vatican's representation. If you are a Muslim fundamentalist, all infidels are pretty much the same...one's as good as the other.

Serf said...

He would probably get lost trying to find the Vatican's representation, thats if he even realises there is a difference.

CityUnslicker said...

Voyager,

It is sad because it will lead only to further conflict. I am not in favour of more conflict, rarely proves beneficial to mankind as a whole.

Our times are ones that seem to be leading to an extrememism in religous affairs that have not been seen in Europe et al for more than 200 years.

Religous wars have been second only to civil wars in their violence and bloodletting throughout history.

For quite some time since the end of the crusading period in the 16th century and the late 20th century there was no thought of major conflict between these two world religons; now it seems that things are changing back to the former state.

Colin said...

It is sad because it will lead only to further conflict. I am not in favour of more conflict, rarely proves beneficial to mankind as a whole.

An excellent point, CityUnslicker. Conflict and wars are destroyers resulting in a lose-lose or at best in a win-lose situation. On the other hand, cooperation is a builder of human civilization leading to a win-win situation.

Ellee said...

That 32% is probably higher than those in the UK who are pleased to be in the EU. But how many people were questioned?