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Turkey needs dialogue, says bishop

July 18, 2016

The failed coup d’état attempt in Turkey manifests an unease with the direction in which the nation is heading, the apostolic vicar of Anatolia told Vatican Radio.

Urging calm, Bishop Paolo Bizzeti, an Italian Jesuit who ministers to Latin Rite Catholics from the southern Turkish city of Iskenderun, called for the use of the “weapon of dialogue” to “understand what are the causes of this unease.”

The prelate told Vatican Radio that his city is calm and that “it is difficult, even for us, to understand the real dimensions of this struggle.” In recent times, he added, there has been a “politics of hate, of confrontation, and this evidently at some point leads to a larger explosion.”

The parish priest in Antakya (ancient Antioch) told the Fides news agency that during the coup attempt, imams urged Muslims to take to the streets to protest on behalf of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an Islamist whose rule has been characterized by increasing authoritarianism, a drift away from the nation’s historic secularism, and allegations of financial support of the Islamic State.

Following the failed coup, Erdogan’s regime arrested thousands, cracking down on the judiciary as well as the military.

 
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