Gunman Who Shot Pope Asks for A Meeting With Francis During Tour Of Turkey

The Turkish gunman who shot Saint John Paul II in the 1981 assassination attempt has seen his request to meet the current Pope ignored.

Mehmet Ali Agca, who was jailed for 19 years for the shooting, asked the Vatican last week for permission to meet Pope Francis during his upcoming visit to Turkey, local media reported.

Speaking at a press conference in Istanbul yesterday, Agca said he had not yet received a response from the Holy See – the central governing body of the Roman Catholic Church.

Mehmet Ali Agca shot Pope John Paul II four times as he rode in an open top car in St. Peter’s Square on May 13 1981.

He spent 19 years in an Italian prison for the assassination attempt – before being extradited to Turkey in 2000 – where he was jailed for a further ten years for the murder of prominent left-wing journalist Abdi Ipekci.


During the shocking 1981 attack, Pope John Paul II suffered severe blood loss after being shot four times.



Two bullets struck his left hand and right arm while another two lodged in his lower intestine, narrowly missing his heart and other vital organs. Two bystanders were also hit by stray bullets.

The motive for the attack remains a mystery but at the time the 23-year-old was a militant of the notorious far-right Grey Wolves movement.

When police seized him, they found a letter in his pocket which read: ‘I have killed the Pope so that the world may know of the thousands of victims of imperialism.’


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