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Thursday, 6 December 1973


Mr. Ambassador,

Welcoming Your Excellency as Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Republic of Turkey to the Holy See, we thank you for the noble words you have just addressed to us. We also thank His Excellency Mr. Fahri S. Korùturk, the President of the Republic, whose good wishes you have conveyed to us.

You recalled the spirit in which the Turkish Republic conceives the orientation of national dynamism. To promote economic evolution and social progress while safeguarding the cultural values inherited from a long past, calls for prudence and courage. Your country, however, does not wish to confine its efforts to the pursuit of a progress limited by its own frontiers. Aware of the duty of collaborating in the good of the whole international community, it wishes to make its contribution to the essential thing, Peace. Can we not see a symbol of this twofold effort in the gigantic work recently inaugurated which, joining the two shores of the Bosphorus, is a concrete expression, as it were, of the deeper and deeper union to be promoted between the two continents? The fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of the Republic that the Turkish people has just celebrated, wished essentially to mark a stage of this forward march, and the special Representative sent by the Holy Sec was able to renew to your nation, on that solemn occasion, the testimony of our esteem and our sympathy.

Dear to the heart of all Christians because of its memories of the first centuries of the Church and in particular of the apostle St Paul, your country is especially beloved by us since the visit, too short, but so dear to our memory, in the course of which we had the joy to become more closely acquainted with your people. The Christians of Turkey who, with their Moslem fellow-citizens, share belief in the one God who rules the destiny of peoples, will continue to collaborate, according to the teachings of their faith, in the development of their country, on the family, professional and civic plane.

So today we express the heartiest wishes for your people and its rulers. We wish you yourself, Mr. Ambassador, a happy and beneficial mission at the Apostolic See and we implore the Blessings of the Almighty on your country and all those dedicated to its prosperity.

*ORa n.52 p.2.


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