Friday, November 03, 2006

Turkish PM to sidestep the Pope

"The Turkish Prime Minister plans to shun a proposed meeting with Pope Benedict XVI for talks in Estonia instead.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan was due to become the first Turkish Prime Minister to receive the Pope, during a bridge-building visit this month.

But the Turkish embassy to the Holy See has announced that Mr Erdogan, who is struggling to secure his country's entry into the European Union, would instead attend a NATO summit in Estonia.

Turkish analysts suggested that with elections next year, Mr Erdogan could ill afford a photo opportunity alongside the Pope, who provoked outrage across the Muslim world by citing the words of a 14th-century Byzantine emperor.

The program of the visit made no mention of a meeting on the day of the Pope's arrival. Vatican officials played down the apparent diary change."
Turkish PM to sidestep the Pope

No comments: