2016-03-15 16:38:00

Apostolic Vicar in Turkey on recent terror attack in Ankara

(Vatican Radio)  “Terrorism must be fought at its roots, not in its outermost branches” – that’s what a top Church official in Turkey says should be the response to acts such as Sunday’s suicide car bombing in Ankara.  The evening blast tore through a crowded transport hub in the capital, killing 37 and injuring dozens of others.  Security officials blame the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) though no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

A bridge linking East to West, Turkey today “is a place where there are many tensions,” the apostolic vicar of Anatolia, Bishop Paul Bizzeti, told Vatican Radio’s Antonella Palermo.

“The Middle East is in turmoil, is in trouble, and everywhere in the Middle East we find  a variety of peoples, religions and cultures. All that which guarantees this plurality has a chance to establish peace, the peace we all want.”

 “We must not forget that the terrorists are a very small part of the people ... The vast majority of people do not want violence. Therefore, terrorism must be fought in its roots, not in its outermost branches,” he says.

 “Terrorism in Turkey, as elsewhere - in my opinion – is more a symptom than a cause, which is why we must address the root causes. This country, throughout history, has had a vocation to be a patchwork of peoples, religions and cultures. Surely we must respect this identity, which is an identity built over thousands of years - an identity that corresponds to its geographical vocation.”

No clarity to Syria policy, strategy

Asked if Turkey's policy regarding the conflict in Syria could be “clearer,” Bishop Bizzeti responds: “I believe that no one in Syria is playing a clear game. Living here you realize even more that there are many factors, many different forces, many interests at the global level and certainly the great powers of this world must come to an agreement  because they cannot continue to allow the massacre of a population. Therefore, an agreement is necessary; it is essential. It is difficult  to understand why an agreement has not been reached. There are also probably things that we don’t hear about; there are conflicting interests and this delays the process so absurdly. But this not only comes from Turkey: Europe, with its indifference, is not playing a greatly positive role. The policy of the great traditional powers - the US, Russia - does not seem very linear. All of this is very perplexing and makes one wonder what are the real intentions of the actors involved.”

see also: Pope Francis sends condolences to Turkeyafter terror attack


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