Shortly after his arrival in Ankara Friday for a three day pastoral visit to Turkey, Pope Francis visited the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first President of the modern-day Republic of Turkey.
The Pope was greeted by the Commander of the Guards, laid a wreath of flowers and paused for a few moments of silence. Pope Francis was then accompanied to the Tower of “National Pact” at the entry to the Anitkabir Atatürk Museum which exhibits the founder of the Turkish Republic’s personal items, wardrobe, and a number of the gifts presented to him. There, the Holy Father signed The “Gold Book”, with the following inscription:
“May the Almighty grant peace and prosperity to the dear Turkish people, with the wish that the entire Country may increasingly become a place of peaceful coexistence between cultures and civilizations, where every human person feels welcomed and his or her dignity and free expression of faith is safeguarded.”