Turks are increasingly dismayed by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoganís yo-yo attitude towards the Popeís visit. After repeatedly saying he was not going to meet Benedict XVI during the latterís trip to Turkey because of his commitment to go to Estonia for a NATO meeting, a government spokesman announced November 25th that Turkish authorities were working with the Vatican to ensure that the Prime Minister and the Pope would meet at an airport in the capital on November 28 before the start of the NATO summit in Riga.
A-level, i.e. maximum, security arrangements will be in place, similar to those made during the visit by US President Bush and British Prime Minister Blair.
In the air two F-16 fighters will escort the plane carrying the pope. Overland travel will be done with three bullet-proof cars, one of which will carry the pope, 50 special agents and two helicopters monitoring every movement from the air.
Erdoganís indecision reflects
His decision a month ago to go to the NATO summit on November 28 and 29, making a meeting with Benedict XVI all but impossible, made a stir. Suggestions were made that a meeting might be organised for the 30 in
Yesterday the Turkish press reported that no member of the government would meet with the Pope whether in
One paper, Aksam,