Turkey PM: pope backs our entry into EU.
Ian Fisher and Sabrina Tavernise report:
Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told reporters after a brief meeting with Benedict at the airport here that he had asked the pope to support Turkey in its attempt to become a member of the European Union.
“He said, ‘You know we don’t have a political role, but we wish for Turkey’s entry into the E.U.,’ ” Mr. Erdogan said the pope told him. “His wish is a positive recommendation for us.”
Hours later, the pope’s spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, released a brief statement repeating that the Vatican has “neither the power nor the specific political task” of getting Turkey admitted to the European Union.
But Father Lombardi said the Vatican “views positively and encourages the road of dialogue and of moving toward integration of Turkey in Europe on the basis of common values and principles.”