Wednesday, November 29, 2006

How Turks See the Pope

See these articles by the Turkish Muslim writer and columnist Mustafa Akyol:

How Turks See the Pope – Part I
Though this particular pope has very few fans, if any, in the 70-million-strong nation, most Turks agree with the liberals that His Holiness should be welcomed, not protested against....

Thanks to the reports of the international fine print, many must have been informed that the fiercest opponents of the pope’s visit are Turkish nationalists. But these folks do not form a homogenous crowd. They may fit into one of three broad categories: the pure nationalists, the Islamic nationalists and the secular nationalists (aka Kemalists).
How Turks See the Pope – Part II
Among those Turkish nationalists who do not welcome Pope Benedict XVI, the third category would be secular nationalists, who are in line with the anti-EU forces in Turkey’s civil and military bureaucracy....

These crusade-phobic Turks also see a fifth column of the enemy in their very midst: the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul....
And so, Turks are questioning why the Pope is visiting Turkey. I always assumed it was primarily a visit with the Ecumenical Patriarch, and this is precisely what some Turkish nationalists fear.

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