Thursday, January 26, 2017

TURKEY - Father Santoro’s killer provides an unbelievable version of the murder

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.

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