Pope's meeting with Turkish president draws protesters

Pope Francis Receives Turkish President At The Vatican

Pope Francis Receives Turkish President At The Vatican

Erdogan previously clashed with the pope when Francis, in 2015, became the first head of the Roman Catholic Church to publicly call the 1915 killing of as many as 1.5 million Armenians "genocide" - something Turkey has always denied.

Pope Francis gave a symbol of peace as a gift to Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, as Turkish forces continued their military offensive against Kurds in Syria.

According to the Turkish presidential sources, during the meeting between the Turkish leader and the pope, which was said to be held in a warm atmosphere, it was pointed to the importance of stressing United States' Jerusalem decision's drawbacks, and agreed that it should not be put into practice.

The Turkish president also gave the pope a large panoramic image of the city of Istanbul hand-painted on ceramic tiles.

Stock market crash: Investors lose Rs 9.6 lakh crore in 3 days
Asian markets saw a big decline today, following Friday's Wall Street selloff, with Japan's Nikkei falling almost 2.5 per cent. The S&P BSE Sensex ended at 34,195, down 561 points while the broader Nifty50 index settled at 10,498, down 168 points.

Thousands of police are on duty while President Erdogan visits. Francis and Erdogan have made plain their concern over the Trump Administration's decision two months ago to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The Brothers of Italy party chimed in to denounce the Turkish president's visit. The police, in riot gear, baton-charged them and stopped them.

A group of worldwide press freedom groups released an open letter calling on the pope to bring up Turkey's crackdown on independent journalists with Erdoğan. Francis denounced those who said "all Muslims are terrorists". "At least 150,000 civil servants have lost their jobs, over 50,000 have been jailed and more than 170 journalists are now in prison along with hundreds of lawyers and human rights defenders", the letter reads.

In Italy, the Turkish president will also meet his counterpart, Sergio Mattarella, and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

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