Many in Turkey see Christians as corrupt elements of the West out to shake the integrity of Turkey and Islam.
The Feb. 20 meeting is a sign that progress is being made, but more progress is needed, said the patriarch, who as “archbishop of Constantinople” is “first among equals” in the Eastern Orthodox Communion.
Prepared and filed by the Special Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara, the 50-page indictment outlined the militants’ revised “jihad” strategy to begin focusing their attacks against Turkey before waging war against the United States and other countries.
The Turkish government made a historic U-turn in state policy this past weekend, issuing an official decree inviting Turkey’s Christian and Jewish communities to reclaim their long-confiscated religious properties.
The return of these extensive properties to their rightful owners has been a key demand of the European Union (EU), to which Turkey is applying for full membership.
In simultaneous operations in nine different provinces of Turkey, authorities yesterday arrested 20 people suspected of playing a role in the murder of three Christians in 2007.
The chief prosecutor overseeing the investigation into a clandestine network known as Ergenekon allegedly aimed at destabilizing the government, ordered the arrests based on information that linked the suspects to both the network and to the Malatya murders.
Turkish Christians fear those responsible for murdering three Christian publishers will not face justice.
They also fear that authorities will be unable to tackle “structural injustice” towards the country’s Christian minority, trial observers said.
Knife-wielding attackers slit the throats of three people at a Christian publishing house in conservative eastern Turkey yesterday.
Suspicion of Christianity has roots deep in Ottoman history and was heightened by later efforts of European powers to carve up the waning empire and give Christians more rights.
The Italian judge who investigated the 1981 murder attempt on John Paul II has warned the Turkish would-be assassin that his life will be “in grave danger” when he is released from jail because he “knows too much”. Mehmet Ali Agca, 48, is to be released from Kartal high security jail in Turkey for good behaviour, perhaps as early as tomorrow. He served 19 years of a life sentence in Italy for the assassination attempt before being pardoned by the late Pope in 2000. He was then extradited to Turkey to serve a separate ten-year sentence for murdering a Turkish
A Turkish court has approved the release of the man who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981, saying that he has completed his prison term. Mehmet Ali Agca, 47, a Turkish citizen, was extradited to Turkey in 2000 after serving almost 20 years in prison in Italy for shooting and wounding the Pope in St Peter’s Square in Rome. His motives for the attack remain unclear. Agca was due to be released on Thursday on parole, according to Mustafa Demirbag, his lawyer. The draft-dodger was expected to be enlisted for compulsory military service immediately. Upon his return to Turkey,