November 27, 2006 - 2nd Hour
November 28, 2006 - 1st Hour
COOPER: John, Pope Benedict XVI is the first pope to visit Turkey in 27 years. It is his first trip to a Muslim nation since becoming pope. And its original focus was supposed to be the riff between the orthodox Christians and Catholics, but a different collision of faith has taken center stage and all because of the remarks that Benedict made recently about Islam. CNN Vatican Analyst John Allen is traveling with the pope. He joins me now.
You know, it's hard to know how much good will Pope Benedict will earn by backing Turkey's bid to join the E.U. The gesture certainly seemed designed to be an olive branch of sorts. But at the same time, Benedict has a reputation for being a blunt talker, who's willing to face the most difficult issues that still divide Islam and Christianity. CNN's Delia Gallagher takes a look.
COOPER: The security in place for Pope Benedict's visit is massive, to say the least. More than 3,000 police officers and sharp shooters have been deployed. This trip was considered too dangerous for Benedict to actually even use the pope mobile, a Mercedes Benz SUV with a bulletproof glass cabin. Instead, Benedict is traveling around Turkey in an armored stretch Mercedes limousine with blacked out windows.
While Turkey is secular, pro-Western democracy religion infuses its government and its culture. More than 99 percent of the population is Muslim. Many are moderate in their beliefs, but there are growing concerns that radical Islam and al Qaeda are gaining a foothold here in Turkey. Take a look.
ROBERTS: Now let's go back to Anderson Cooper. He's live in Turkey tonight -- Anderson.
COOPER: John, thanks very much.
Coming up, we're going to be looking at one of the big issues that Pope John Paul -- Pope Benedict is expected to talk about. Pope John Paul II also talked about it. Reciprocity. Why in Christian countries Muslims can build mosques, but sometimes in Muslim countries Christians cannot build a new church, like in Saudi Arabia. It's one of the things Pope Benedict expects to address here in Turkey. We will take a look at that. Also, the man, the Christian leader that Pope Benedict is expected to meet with and what he wants to change here in Turkey.
COOPER: A ban on headscarves. A majority of Turkish people say it is a bad idea, but in the Netherlands a ban on burqas is in the works. A country known for its liberal views, taking a much a different path. CNN's Paula Newton explains why.
COOPER: And we are joined again by CNN's Faith and Values Correspondent Delia Gallagher and Reza Aslan, of U.S.C. Center on Diplomacy and also the author of "No god but God."
If the pope's mission today on this first day of his trip was to move beyond the comments of two months ago and to sort of try to move forward with the Islamic world, how do you think he did??
ROBERTS: Have a safe trip to Amman tomorrow.
COOPER: There you go. Interesting, John. All right, thanks very much.
Yes, coming up tomorrow on the heels of the NATO summit, President Bush is heading to Amman, Jordan, to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. CNN, of course, is going to be there.
Thanks very much for watching this coverage from Istanbul, Turkey. We'll also have a lot more on the pope's visit here to Ephesus tomorrow, and of course to Istanbul as well. Stay tuned for all of that. See you tomorrow.