Pope BenedictXVI has invited Turkish Religious Affairs Directorate Prof Ali Bardakoglu to
. PopeBenedict XVI paid a four-day visit Vatican starting on Nov. 28 of lastyear. Turkey
In a high-profile move, Pope Benedict XVI has invited Professor AliBardakoðlu, who heads the Turkish Religious Affairs Directorate, to the
In a written invitation sent to the Turkish Religious Affairs Directorate itwas stated that the
Upon the directorate's acceptance of the pope's invitation, a papalrepresentative will come to
Invited by Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, the pope paid a four-dayvisit to
A harsh opponent of the Turkish EU bid before his ascent to the papacy andwreathed in controversy after a speech -- quoting a 14th century Byzantineemperor who described Islam as a religion of violence -- he delivered inRegensburg University in Germany sparked worldwide protests from Muslims, thepope managed to use the visit to Turkey to send the right signals to the Muslimworld.
Bardakoðlu has confirmed his receipt of the invitation, saying: "Thisis possible. We will decide depending on the circumstances."
With respect to the fact that the
A deputy head of the directorate will meet the cardinal sent by the
The cardinal, effectively an aide in charge of foreign affairs, and thedeputy head will reportedly meet in
The senior bureaucrat expected to conduct the talks has also commented onthe matter: "Yes, it is true. The
Bardakoðlu had previously spoken to Today's Zaman, giving hisassessment of the pope's visit to
Noting that the Religious Affairs Directorate was the focus of increasedinterest, Bardakoðlu maintained that such interest stemmed from a desire"to make sense of the Turkish case."
He added: "What is the meaning of such a religious institutionwithin the secular structure? How does this system operate? They are seekinganswers to these questions. We tell them what they want to know, withself-confidence and an easy conscience. We make our contribution whennecessary. We express our opinions about other people or institutions. In ouropinion, meeting with other people will help us to better express ourselves andto get to know other people."
He explained: "Naturally we are not against dialogue. We willmeet in an atmosphere of dialogue as long as we remain as we are, and the otherside remains as they are. This is how we see dialogue."
Pope Benedict's visit to
The pope listened attentively to the criticisms Bardakoðlu directed againsthim, but did not respond.
Bardakoðlu had said: "We seriously need self-sacrificial efforts fromclerics. Religious leaders must not attempt to spread their respective faithsand deny other faiths using the media. Instead they should try to findsolutions to common problems of humanity. Our faith condemns all kinds ofterror and violence and equates killing an individual to the killing of humanityentirely.
"We feel sadness at the statements which have nourished Islamophobia,arguing that Islam has spread through war or that Islam has been stokingviolence. We must save ourselves from historic fears and concerns."
One of the enduring images of the pope's visit was that of him waving aTurkish flag handed to him on a visit to the
Pope Benedict also stated that his visit to sites in
There have been three papal visits to
The directorate has also taken the papal invitation as an indication of thefact that the pope was influenced by Bardakoðlu's ideas. It is said that thepope was happy to visit
Bardakoðlu was commended by many groups for the attitude he adoptedduring the pope's visit. Even Republican People's Party (CHP) leader DenizBaykal paid a visit to Bardakoðlu's office to express his commendation of thevisit.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16