mamma mia! we were hating the pope only yesterday. we held crowded meetings to protest his visit. we were cold shouldering him for saying that turkey did not constitute a part of europe or for quoting a millenium old statement by a loooooong dead emperor about mohammad who was and felt threatened by his armies.
for about a week, the media reported how the turkish government officials, including the premier and the foreign minister, were shunning a meeting his holiness benedictus 16, trying to put a wedge between the spiritual leader of one and a half billion catholics and their muslim piety. every day, some article or commentary was openly critical of the visit. even the security of the pope was made into a debatable issue. an idiot could read between the lines and photo captions and realize that the pope was not as exactly welcome as even president bush was.
and the islamists' rally on sunday... first, it must be said that moderate or hardline, the entire pious press was laudatory about the protest and the size of the crowd it mustered. all tv channels and all newspapers showed sights very similar to those in other islamic geographies where hordes dressed in chadors, head covers, long baggy trousers, wearing caps, beards and buttoned-to the top chemises, chanting "god is great" (allah u akbar) and singing praise to osama bin ladin and similar persons of grand valor protesting the pope's arrival, in fact, quite contrary to the myth of the much bragged about turkish hospitality, inviting him not to come.
now look at the turkish press. hurriyet brazenly claims that by reporting all that they have been reporting these days, the "western media" is adopting a "biased and prejudiced attitude toward turkey".
and suddenly all roses have bloomed - the pope has endorsed turkey's accession to the european union. who says the pope sanctifies turkey's eu identification? premier tayyip erdoğan!
do not be surprised, if you ask me, should vatican delicately deny such a statement by his holiness (who happens to be skeptical about turks' european identification). turkey's prime minister is not very fluent in other languages.