Pope's Visit to Turkey

One should not forget that Cardinal Ratzinger (before becoming pope) said: Turkey should find its identity in the Islamic world and not in Christian Europe.

I had the privilege to visit Istanbul recently, and I would advise anyone to please go visit Turkey, and particular Istanbul, to understand this critical issue at this point in history:

  1. Istanbul sits in Europe (on the old Greek province of Thrace).  The Ottoman Sultans' seat of government was here.

  2. The Ottoman sultan was also 'sultan-i-room' – King of Rome – the Byzantine Empire (the Russian Orthodox became independent due to the conquest of Byzantium by Muslims).

  3. The patriarch of the Orthdox Christian Church (technically still head of all Orthodox Christian denominations) sits in Turkey.  Â

  4. Turkey has just said, 'enough is enough' on the EU accession talks, especially with respect to minor issues related to Cyprus

  5. Pan-Islamic fervor is on the rise in Turkey, primarily due to the 50-odd years of failed attempts to integrate with Europe.

This trip of the pope is very profound:Â

Unity between the Orthodox churches and conciliation with the Catholic Church will make Turkey an aberration in the continuum of Christendom, in which Turkey is just an aberration.  On the other hand, Turkey is the wedge that pushes into the EU and divides the Catholic and Slavic communities – with the latter having bitter memories of Turk occupation.  The accession of Bulgaria to the EU on 1 January 2007 is symbolic – for if Turkey is not admitted fairly soon, there would be little rational reason for it not to – as Bulgaria (Bulgaristan) was just a poor province of Turkey some time ago, and is still economically inferior to Turkey.

The dilemma is that a rejected Turkey, flexing its muscle sooner or later (20-50 years), might leave NATO and thus be the vanguard of a new Islamic alliance once again pushing into the heart of Europe – a Europe already demographically compromised by Muslim migrants.