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06 11 29 - So what if the Pope prays at the Hagia Sophia?
hurriyet: (FROM A.M.- USA)
Mehmet Y. Yilmaz: So what if the Pope prays at the Hagia Sophia?

It was said that up to a million people might attend the "Don't let the Pope come" protest rally sponsored by the Saadet Party in Istanbul over the weekend. But the fact was, only 20-30 thousand wound up coming.

The fact that this few showed up only serves to demonstrate how useless any sort of politicking is in Turkey. It is clear that most people do not take all the conspiracy theories which have arisen linked to the Pope's visit here seriously.

There is one conspiracy theory which has been making the rounds for months now: The Pope will begin to pray on entering the Hagia Sophia, and in this way, the Hagia Sophia will once again become a Christian center for prayer.

A photograph published on the front page of the Vatan newspaper on Sunday was a terrific example of how empty this conspiracy theory is. The photograph was taken in 1967, during Pope Paul VI's visit to the Hagia Sophia. It is clear, looking at the photograph, that Pope Paul VI had fallen to his knees, and was praying.

Now, calculate how many years have passed since 1967, and think about how the Pope praying at that time in the Hagia Sophia did anything to affect Turkey or the Islamic world here.

And then ask yourselves, "Would it really be a disaster if the Pope prayed at the Hagia Sophia?" What is the goal of those trying to spread this propoganda?

And while you think about this all, I want to add a little note about Sunday's Saadet Party rally:

Necmettin Erbakan participated in this rally via television link. Erbakan was found guilty of throwing money given to his party by the Treasury into his own pocket. With the help of the AKP, he is serving his time at home, rather than in prison. And what I wonder is how many people at the rally thought at all about the crime that Erbakan has committed. Now that I really wonder.


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