Oğuzhan Akdin, the 26-year-old murderer of Don Andrea Santoro, after his early release - which took place last August - has released for the first time to the Turkish press his version of the murder, intended to cause controversy because of its apparent unreliability.
According to the killer’s statements, published recently by the Turkish
newspaper Karadeniz, he himself, on February 5, 2006, went to the church
of Trabzon with a gun to ask Don Andrea the reasons of his activities
and the conversion to Christianity of some young Muslims.
At that point,
the Catholic priest stated that "Christianity is the only true
religion" and that one day "all Turks would be converted to
Christianity", provoking a violent reaction on behalf of his
interlocutor. Oğuzhan Akdin at that point shouted that Islam is the only
true religion, killing the priest with two gunshots.
The story provided by the murderer appears as yet another act of offense
against Don Santoro, who testified with his life as a priest, right to
the end, even his love for Muslims and his absolute strangeness
regarding projects of organized "proselytism".
"Don Andrea, with his
approach – said to Agenzia Fides Bishop Paul Bizzeti SJ, Apostolic Vicar
of Anatolia, on the tenth anniversary of the assassination of the
Italian priest - helped to make people understand each other and to
disarm the logic of confrontation. That is why his figure of a
missionary and man of dialogue is very current".
Oguzhan Ayudin, who at the time of the murder was 16, had been sentenced
in 2006 to 18 years and 10 months in prison before being released last
August with more than 10 years ahead of the expiry of the sentence.