Turkey: Pope supports EU membership

Vatican says pope "has neither power nor political task of intervening."

By
November 28, 2006 13:44
1 minute read.
Turkey: Pope supports EU membership

pope turkey 298.88. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Turkey's prime minister said Tuesday that Pope Benedict XVI told him he wanted Turkey to join the European Union. The Vatican said only that it views as favorable the steps that Turkey is taking to meet EU membership requirements. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan greeted Benedict when he arrived in the Turkish capital on a flight from Rome, and the two men had a private discussion at the airport. Erdogan, whose Muslim country is engaged in a troubled bid to join the EU, later told reporters: "I said to the pope, 'I ask for your help on the way to the European Union,' and on this subject he said, 'You know we are not politicians, but we hope Turkey enters the European Union."' Asked about Erdogan's remark, a senior Vatican official said the Vatican favors the steps Turkey is taking to meet EU membership requirements. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, noting that the Vatican is not a "political entity." In a statement, Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said: "The Holy See has neither the power nor the specific political task of intervening on the exact point regarding the entry of Turkey into the European Union. It's not in its scope. However, it views positively and encourages the road of dialogue and of moving toward integration in Europe on the basis of common values and principles." As a cardinal, before he became pope, Benedict said Turkey represented a culture "in permanent contrast to Europe" and has repeatedly called for a return in Europe to fundamental Christian values. At a press conference earlier Tuesday, a representative of the Vatican noted that Benedict's earlier remarks were made before he became pope. "When a man becomes the pope ... it's in a sense expected that his personal views recede into the background," Bishop Brian Farrell said. He said the Vatican was not a member of the European Union and had no official stance on Turkey's membership bid. The pope's perceived opposition to Turkey's EU bid fueled Turkish criticism of Benedict, whose visit to Turkey is his first to a Muslim nation. Turkey has conducted economic and other reforms in an effort to join the EU, but a dispute over divided Cyprus and other issues threatens to derail its campaign.

Related Content

kurds syria
July 22, 2018
Iran and Turkey pressure Kurdish groups on different fronts

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN