07/18/2005, 00.00
VATICAN – TURKEY
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Benedict XVI condemns "horrible attack" in Kuşadası

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Benedict XVI condemns the "horrible attack in Kuşadası (a tourist resort on Turkey's south-eastern coast) and "pleads for the mercy of the Almighty".

In a telegram of condolences sent today to the Apostolic Nuncio in Turkey, Mgr Edmond Farhat, by Card Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State, the Holy Father expressed his "profound sympathy" to the Turkish authorities and peoples.

The attack took place last Saturday morning, July 16, and killed five people, injuring another 13.

So far no known terrorist group has claimed responsibility.

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which the authorities suspect to be behind the attack, denied "all responsibilities" claiming "to have no ties to the "Hawks for the freedom of Kurdistan" (TAK), the Kurdish group that claimed to have carried out the attack in Kuşadası as well as that in the beach resort of Cesme that left 20 people injured seven days ago.

Turkish authorities are however convinced that the TAK is part of the PKK, acting as a window screen to protect the PKK's image.

Here is the full text of the telegram sent by Pope Benedict XVI:

Upon being informed of the murderous blast that occurred recently in Turkey, the Holy Father pleads for the mercy of the Almighty for the people who lost their life in this horrible attack and that their families might find the comfort of God in this time of trial.

He expresses his greatest sympathy to the people who were injured and their families as well as to the Turkish authorities and people.

Card. Angelo Sodano

Secretary of State

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