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    Ankara searches for proper formula for Pope's prospective visit

    Hürriyet Haber
    13.09.2005 - 13:03 | Son Güncelleme:

    There are reportedly three concerns slowing down Ankara's response to the Vatican's request for Pope Benedict XVI to visit Turkey. The first of these is that the first invitation to Pope Benedict was apparently issued by the Greek Partriach Bartholomeus, who resides himself in Istanbul's Fener district. The Pope, not wanting to appear in Turkey soley as the guest of Bartholomeus, which would cause tension on the part of Ankara, therefore had the Vatican request an invitiation from Ankara. The Foreign Ministry is reportedly working on a way to issue an invitation that will cut in front of the one from the Greek Patriarch.

    Another worry for the Foreign Ministry is the possibility that Benedict XVI might well use a visit to Turkey as a chance to hail Patriarch Bartholomeus as the "ecumenical leader" of the Greek Orthodox Church, a question which has been an ongoing source tension for Ankara over past years.
    Yet a third worry for the Ankara administration is that Benedict XVI would bring the subject of "religious freedom" into the forefront during a visit, a question country leaders don't want to have overshadow the current issue of integration into the EU.
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