The Vatican has confirmed Pope Francis’s itinerary for his upcoming trip to Turkey.
The visit, which will take place from November 28 to 30, will begin at the mausoleum of the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The pontiff will also meet Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
On the following day, Francis will travel to Istanbul. He will pay a visit to the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, a former Greek Orthodox patriarchal basilica which is now a museum.
The visit to the Blue Mosque will see Pope Francis follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Benedict XVI who prayed there during his trip to Turkey in 2006.
The Pope will also celebrate Mass at Istanbul’s Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, participate in ecumenical prayers at the Church of St George and meet with Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew.
Despite initial speculation, the schedule for Pope Francis’s trip does not appear to include a visit to meet refugees fleeing ISIS terrorists at Turkey’s border with northern Iraq.
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