Turkish student confesses to murder of Italian cleric (ANSA) – Rome, February 7 – A Turkish youth reportedly linked to organised crime has confessed to killing Italian priest Andrea Santoro two days ago, according to judicial sources in the northern town of Trabzon .
The 16-year-old student was arrested early on Tuesday morning after a huge manhunt. When police found him at the home of relatives in Trabzon, he was carrying the pistol used to kill the priest .
Father Santoro, 58, was shot dead in his church in the Black Sea town while he was praying after mass on Sunday. His killer reportedly shouted "Allah is Great" before fleeing .
Turkish television network NTV identified the arrested youth as Ohuzhan Akdi and said he was linked to the trafficking of prostitutes through Trabzon .
The Italian cleric, who was born near Rome, had dedicated considerable energy in recent years to trying to help prostitutes brought to Turkey from former Soviet republics .
After confessing to the murder, Akdi said that he had been enraged by the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in the European press, NTV reported . [Source]
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI said Monday that he hoped the blood shed by a Roman Catholic priest slain in Turkey over the weekend would become the "seeds of hope" to build a lasting fraternity between peoples.
Benedict sent telegrams of condolences to church authorities in Italy and Turkey following the killing Sunday of the Rev. Andrea Santoro, 60, who was shot as he prayed in his church in the Black Sea port city of Trabzon, where he was the parish priest for a small Christian community. [Source]