Ankara (AsiaNews) - Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who in 1981 tried to kill Pope John Paul II, was released this morning from a high security prison in the capital.
Agca spent 19 years in Italian prisons for attempted murder and 10 years in prison for murdering Turkish journalist Abdi Ipekci in '79.
His lawyer said that Agca, now 52, "is in good physical and mental health" and that his client has received over 50 proposals of work to write books, make films and documentaries.
Agca was 23 when he tried to kill John Paul II in St Peter's Square on 13 May 1981. The pope was wounded in the abdomen, but recovered and also forgave his would-be murderer.
The reasons that prompted the Turk to attempt to kill the pope remain veiled in silence and confusion. Agca has always said he acted alone on a "divine mission". But many suspect that the man who attempted to assassinate the Polish pope was commissioned by the Soviet secret service.
Immediately following his release from prison, Agca was conducted to an army enlistment base where he must clarify his position, not having done military service. On the controversial figure of Ali Agca, see.: 15/1/2010 A free Ali Agca, television star and a disgrace for Turkey).