Pope's 'Unforgettable' Turkey Trip Receives Mixed Reception from Muslims

Pope Benedict XVI has said that his recent trip to Turkey was "unforgettable", and expressed hope that it would facilitate a deeper and more understanding relationship between the Catholic and Islamic faiths.

Published 04 December 2006  |  
Pope Benedict XVI has said that his recent trip to Turkey was "unforgettable", and expressed hope that it would facilitate a deeper and more understanding relationship between the Catholic and Islamic faiths.

|PIC1|The head of the 1.1 billion member worldwide Roman Catholic Church returned to the Vatican on Friday at the conclusion of his four-day Turkey tour, and made a special mention of Turkey's Catholic community from his window in St. Peter's Square on Sunday.

His journey to Turkey was originally planned with the motive to reinforce Christian ties with the country's Orthodox Church.

However, the Pope became the centre of great controversy following a September speech in Germany in which he quoted a Byzantine emperor who said Islam was violent and irrational. Although the Pope has stated he in no way agreed with or endorsed the remarks in the quote, the speech still angered Muslims worldwide, and initially threw his planned visit to Turkey into doubt.

Prior to the end of his tour, the Pope made history by becoming only the second Catholic head ever to visit a mosque, in an act of goodwill to mend tense relations with the Muslim nation.

Although, a large majority of Muslim leaders have welcomed the Pope's efforts to reconcile with Islam in the predominantly Muslim country, some Islamic leaders say the Pope has not done enough to make amends for his remarks, reports AP.

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