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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
When Faiths Collide: The Pope in Turkey; President Bush Heads to Jordan to Meet With Iraqi Prime Minister
Aired November 28, 2006 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It sure was a remarkable day. Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Turkey, with the world watching. His first trip to a Muslim country has morphed into a much bigger diplomatic mission than it was supposed to be. Benedict began by offering an olive leaf.
ANNOUNCER: A high-stakes trip begins.
POPE BENEDICT XVI: I offer you my sentiments of respect.
ANNOUNCER: On day one of the pope's visit to Turkey, massive security, cameras everywhere, and a surprise: the pontiff's diplomatic curveball, and what he could gain from it.
In 21st century Turkey, a deadly tradition: wives, mothers, sisters killed to restore their family's honor. Some are rape victims. Others simply want a divorce.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's always the fault of the woman, never the fault of the man.
ANNOUNCER: One family's story.
And he's accused of backing the insurgency in Iraq, and supports their attacks on Americans, but says there's a simple way to end the violence -- tonight, a rare interview with a Sunni cleric who could be part of the end game in Iraq.
ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360, "When Faiths Collide: The Pope in Turkey."
Reporting from Istanbul, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: Hey, good evening. Thanks for joining us from Istanbul tonight, Turkey's largest city, and one of the stops on Pope Benedict's historic four-day visit. It was a remarkable day today. We are broadcasting from the bank of the Bosphorus Strait, a key waterway that literally divides Istanbul between two continents.
I'm standing on the European side. Just over my shoulder, over there, is Asia. And that's where Benedict began his visit today, on the Asian side, in the capital, Ankara, about 200 miles southeast of here.
This has turned into a high-stakes trip for the pope. It was supposed to be a fairly low-key visit when it was planned, but Benedict's recent controversial comments about Islam have really changed everything. And now the official purpose of his visit, to mend relations between Orthodox Christians and Catholics, has nearly taken a backseat.
Day one in Turkey was a full one for the pontiff. We're going to have full coverage ahead, including the surprise gesture Benedict made almost as soon as he landed.
First, though, John Roberts is standing by in New York with one of the other stories we're covering tonight -- John.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, thanks very much.
Tomorrow, President Bush heads to Jordan to meet with King Abdullah and Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki. Tonight, we're going to hear from someone who's a spiritual leader to some Iraqi insurgents. He's a Sunni cleric accused of supporting attacks on U.S. troops. He recently met with King Abdullah, who is also a Sunni.
In an exclusive interview with CNN's Nic Robertson, you will hear the cleric's solution for ending the violence in Iraq. That's coming up later on in this hour -- Anderson.
COOPER: John, thanks.
Pope Benedict was warned by some not to even come to Turkey. That's how many angry Muslims there were over his remarks about Islam. He came anyway, to the land where Muslim and Christian warriors have battled, literally for centuries, eager, he said, to build bridges.
Well, on day one, surrounded by massive security, some 3,000 police, the 79-year-old pontiff hit the ground running.
Here's CNN's Alessio Vinci.
ALESSIO VINCI, CNN ROME BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): If Turks were hoping Pope Benedict would change his tone, that's what they got during his first day in Turkey.
The pope said he was embarking on a mission of dialogue, brotherhood, and reconciliation. And, as a sign that he really meant it, he told the prime minister that he now supports Turkey's bid to join the European Union. That was seen as an important gesture, because, before becoming pope, he had opposed it, citing those same cultural and religious differences he is now trying to bridge.
To ease the anger in Turkey and much of the Muslim world over his perceived criticism of Islam, the pope also met the top Islamic authority in this predominantly Muslim country, Ali Bardakoglu, who echoed the pope's words of reconciliation. But he also rejected the claim that Islam was a religion spread by the sword, as the pope had appeared to suggest two months ago.
"Insulting Islam," he said, "breeds violence." It was a veiled, but pointed criticism of Benedict, sitting right next to him. The pope did not directly respond, sticking to his prepared statement instead.
POPE BENEDICT XVI: The best way forward is via authentic dialogue between Christians and Muslims, based on trust and truth, and inspired by a sincere wish to know one another better, respecting differences and recognizing what we have in common.
VINCI: On the streets here, a mixture of skepticism and hope.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't believe him. I don't believe him, no. I don't -- he is coming here just for -- maybe just to politic things. I don't believe him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is one of the keys who can manage or who can get good relations between two religions. So, I think it will be a good visit for him to be here.
VINCI: The pope's journey has stirred emotions in Turkey. Before he arrived here, a gunman fired shot outside the Italian Consulate, saying he wanted to strangle the pope. And, in another sign of security fears, the pope is moving around in an armored limousine, leaving behind his panoramic popemobile. And a few demonstrators who did turn out were kept well away.
COOPER: That was CNN's Alessio Vinci, who is traveling with the pope.
This visit is, for sure, a high-stakes balancing act for Pope Benedict. He's known for his blunt talk and willingness to face, head on, the divisions between faiths. As important as it may be for him to smooth relations with Muslims in this predominantly Muslim country, he also has some demands.
COOPER (voice-over): Pope Benedict XVI says he's anxious to open a dialogue with the followers of Islam, but he says those talks must include one very important topic, what the Vatican calls reciprocity.
JOHN ALLEN, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: The idea is that religious minorities in majority Muslim states ought to get the same rights and same freedoms that religious minorities, including Muslims, get in the West.
COOPER: Before he became Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spent 24 years as the Vatican's tough theological enforcer, a man who interpreted the rules by which Catholicism could operate.
Even then, his relationship with the Muslim community was seen as contentious, in part because of his insistence on reciprocity.
The concept comes down to this: If you can build a mosque in any non-Muslim nation, why can't you build a Christian church, or a Jewish synagogue, for that matter, in a mostly Muslim country?
In the 1990s, the Saudi government kicked in the bulk of $25 million raised to build the biggest mosque in Europe. It was built in the Catholic enclave of Rome, with the encouragement of Benedict's predecessor, Pope John Paul II. Benedict believes it's now time for fair play.
ALLEN: Christians in Saudi Arabia ought to be able to build churches; they ought to be able to import bibles and catechisms; they ought to be able to celebrate their faith openly, all of which is presently prohibited by Saudi law.
COOPER: Benedict insists, reciprocity would benefit Muslims, as well as Christians, as some Muslim sects suffer discrimination at the hands of Islamic governments headed by members of rival sects.
ALLEN: In Saudi Arabia, of course, it's non-Wahabi forms of Islam that can't be celebrated. In -- in Iran, often, it is Sunni Islam that struggles, and on and on. So, the point, basically, is to press Islamic governments to recognize pluralism, and to recognize the right of people to believe and to celebrate their creed as they choose.
COOPER: But many Muslims would say, it's not the pope's place to define the rules of their religion.
REZA ASLAN, AUTHOR, "NO GOD BUT GOD: THE ORIGINS, EVOLUTION, AND FUTURE OF ISLAM": What the pope is talking about, when he talks about reciprocity, is that there needs to be far greater emphasis on religious rights in some Muslim countries. But to make the kind of generalization that, somehow, the Islamic world doesn't allow the propagation of Christianity or the construction of Christian churches or Jewish synagogues is just simply incorrect.
ALLEN: This is about recognizing the inherent dignity of each and every human person to believe and to worship as he or she sees fit.
COOPER: A point that may prove to be a hard sell in this country where the secular government leads a population that's some 99 percent Muslim.
COOPER: Yes, Christians, by the way, make up less than half-a- percent of Turkey's 70 million people.
Joining me now is Reza Aslan of USC's Center on Public Diplomacy and the author of the book "No God But God," also, CNN's faith and values correspondent, Delia Gallagher.
First, Delia, how did the pope do today? DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN FAITH AND VALUES CORRESPONDENT: I thought today seemed pretty positive.
Certainly, his speech was very much geared towards suggesting the things that Muslims and Christians have in common, his respect for Islam. And -- and I think that, in general, considering that the prime minister, up until the last minute, may not have met him at the airport, that went off. He met with all the political leaders. It seemed to be a -- a good day and a good start to this trip.
COOPER: For someone expecting sort of a -- a Pope John Paul II kind of visit, with -- with hundreds of thousands of people, this is not that kind of trip. It's almost more of a diplomatic trip.
ASLAN: It's not really that -- this pope's M.O., really.
Look, you know, yesterday, we were talking about the fact that, let's not -- let's not think that this pope's message is going to change, but perhaps what will change is the way he delivers that message. Today was a perfect example of that.
I think that he's going to continue to push for a very robust dialogue with the Muslim world. He's going to continue to push for a resurgence and revival of -- of -- of Christianity throughout Europe. But I think, now that he recognizes how important it is for him to watch how he says things, you're going to see a much more conciliatory, much more measured response from him.
COOPER: But, you know, I mean, dialogue, that's one of those diplomatic words. What does it actually mean? This pope has very strong beliefs about -- about Christianity, about Islam, about violence within Islam. What does a dialogue really look like?
GALLAGHER: It's a big point for the pope. In fact, he's talked about it before, that he thinks dialogue has to include straight talk, the hard questions.
COOPER: This is not everyone holding hands, singing kumbaya.
GALLAGHER: That's right.
And, in fact, you know, John Paul II used to do the days of prayer in Assisi, and -- and get everybody together. And Cardinal Ratzinger, at the time, was uncomfortable with that.
But he -- he, has pope -- and we saw it in the -- in the Regensburg speech -- he brings up these kind of difficult questions. And you will also notice that, in the aftermath of that, there were 38 Muslim scholars...
GALLAGHER: ... who did sit down and address some of those issues. I think that's what he thinks real dialogue is.
COOPER: So, is the dialogue between Christians and Muslims, or is the dialogue within Islam, Muslim to Muslim? I mean, because he seems to be sort of trying to provoke, almost, dialogue amongst Muslims.
ASLAN: That's a great question.
I would say that dialogue is, first and foremost, amongst the leaders of the Christian and Muslim community, not so much within, you know, the Christians and Muslims themselves. And that has begun, as Delia said.
I thought that that letter that was written to the pope was very much in line with the way that the pope likes to speak, as a theologian. It addressed all of his concerns. And it brought up other issues for the pope to address, which he hasn't done yet. But I think that that -- that's a wonderful opening to this.
At the same time, I think the pope recognizes what anyone recognizes, and that is that there is a -- a debate taking place within Islam itself, and that the clerical institutions of the Muslim world have been very, very slow in recognizing the threat of extremism and jihadism.
COOPER: But, you know, there are lot of people...
ASLAN: And they need to do that.
COOPER: ... in the West who don't -- who don't buy that, who say, look, there isn't -- you know, that there needs to be a reformation within the Muslim world, and -- and that they don't -- you know, many people in the U.S. just don't see it.
Where is this reformation going on? Where is this debate occurring?
ASLAN: Look around us. And Turkey, I think it's a perfect example of what's taking place here.
This is a country in which that sense of nationalism and individualism, which most people would say is so against the tradition of Islam, this communal, worldwide community of faith that is supposed to be beyond boundaries, that's supposed to have no nationalistic identity, and, yet, here in Turkey, in places like Indonesia, in places like Iran, in places like Egypt, you have young Muslims who make up -- fairly soon, some three-quarters of the population of the Muslim world will be under the age of 35.
They have very easily reconciled their nationalistic and independent identities. And you're seeing fresh, unique, innovative approaches to Islam. The question is, will the institutions, will the clerics jump on board, or will they be a weight?
GALLAGHER: I don't think that the pope thinks it's his job, necessarily, to get too involved in the whole intra-Islam question, because he's the head of the Catholic Church. He's got enough to -- to think about with that. But I do think that he thinks it's good to -- to nudge it, to suggest it, and to suggest, in a -- in a -- in a spirit of dialogue, you know, in an academic way, "These are the places where I think there are some questions," and then let them go and -- and see if there's really something there.
COOPER: Well, probably, he's going to continue talking to -- to Islam, to -- to the Islamic community. He's also going to be focusing now, in the coming days, on the Christian community, the Orthodox Christian community. We will talk about that a little bit later on.
Delia, Reza, thanks very much.
A lot is happening here in Turkey. And what is happening this week is perhaps getting the attention of billions of people. Here's the "Raw Data."
Thirty-three percent of the world's population is Christian, with more than half of them Roman Catholics. Twenty percent, or some 1.2 billion people, are Muslims. Another 13 percent are Hindus, nearly 6 percent Buddhists. And less than 1 percent are Jewish.
Another number, too: two countries in one, Turkey, where East meets West, one part modern, the other ancient. We will break down the differences for you -- plus, the dark side of Turkey, a shocking report, women accused of shaming their families paying the ultimate price. It's called honor killings. It is an ancient tradition that still continues to this day.
And a CNN exclusive: A spiritual leader for Iraqi insurgents speaks out. Hear his words of advice for President Bush -- when this special edition of 360, "When Faiths Collide," continues live from Turkey.
COOPER: And we have much more from Istanbul -- coming up: a deadly tradition, wives, mothers, sisters killed to restore their family's honor. It's called honor killings. It's an ancient tradition that still exists in some parts of Turkey today -- a startling report. You will want to see that, coming up.
But let's go right now, though, to John Roberts with more news out of New York -- John.
ROBERTS: Anderson, thanks.
As President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki prepare to meet tomorrow and Thursday in Amman, Jordan, a controversial Sunni leader of supporter of the Iraqi insurgency is speaking out.
Harith al-Dhari says, the only way to achieve peace in Iraq is for the United States to get out of the country. But there's a catch.
With the exclusive interview, here's CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Jordanian King Abdullah, the man on the left, controls all the television in his country. So, it's clear, on the eve of President Bush's meetings here, the king wants the Arab world to see, he's on message with his guest, Harith al-Dhari.
HARITH AL-DHARI, CHAIRMAN, ASSOCIATION OF MUSLIM SCHOLARS (through translator): The message is, we want peace. We are peaceful people. We don't hate Americans. All we want is our country secure and stable.
ROBERTSON: Al-Dhari is Iraqi, a respected tribal leader and a Sunni cleric. As for his message of peace, he's fled the country, because he's a wanted man there. The Iraqi government says he is behind much of the Sunni terrorism.
I have been granted a rare interview. Al-Dhari normally refuses to meet the Western media. He sees us as agents of a hated military occupation. He wants U.S. troops out.
"Just set a date for withdrawal," he says. "That's all. Then, the resistance will stop.
(on camera): Would you talk to American officials?
AL-DHARI (through translator): I'm not talking to American officials or Bush, unless they agree to withdraw their troops before we meet.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Among Iraq's Sunni insurgents, al-Dhari has influence, because he is a respected cleric and tribal leader. He supports their attacks on U.S. troops and the Iraqi government. He even supports al Qaeda in Iraq, but says he won't tolerate attacks on civilians.
Surprisingly, he says, he wants to give the U.S. an easy way out.
AL-DHARI (through translator): They can withdraw in a calm and orderly way. And this is what we want. And, if the Iraqis see this, they will respond in a positive way.
ROBERTSON: But, as fighting among insurgents and against Western troops continue, I ask him, what's going to stop the bloodshed when the U.S. troops are gone?
He says, it will stop, but he offers no promises.
AL-DHARI (through translator): I can't guarantee it. I don't have the material means. I have no real power. I can't. I tell you, I'm incapable. There has to be an Iraqi security force that represents all forces in Iraq, loyal to Iraq.
ROBERTSON (on camera): Which countries should be providing this support?
AL-DHARI (through translator): America's friends in the region and outside the region, they can help.
ROBERTSON: Saudis, Jordanians?
(voice-over): He won't say who, but later suggests some of the old Iraqi army is ready to come back.
(on camera): A month ago, al-Dhari met with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, another important U.S. ally and, like Jordan, also a majority Sunni country.
It seems President Bush and Prime Minister Maliki are being sent a message by the Sunnis of Iraq. Their voice is being drowned out by the fighting.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Amman, Jordan.
ROBERTS: All eyes will be on Amman, Jordan, for Thursday's one- on-one meeting between President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister al- Maliki.
The talks continue to be met with skepticism and resistance in Iraq. Today, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's powerful political bloc once again said it will stop participating in the Iraqi government if the two leaders meet.
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux has a preview of the upcoming meeting.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Despite the deteriorating conditions on the ground in Iraq, President Bush refused to call the growing chaos and carnage between warring factions there civil war.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's all kinds of speculation about what may be or not happening. What is -- what you're seeing on TV has started last February. It was an attempt by people to foment sectarian violence. And, no -- no -- no question, it's dangerous there, and violent.
MALVEAUX: Mr. Bush also continued to rule out direct talks with Iran about the situation in Iraq, until it abandons its nuclear ambitions.
BUSH: If they would like to be at the table discussing this issue with the United States, I have made it abundantly clear how they can do so, and that is verifiably suspend the enrichment program.
MALVEAUX: But Iraq has already reached out to its neighbor. Monday, its president visited Iran's leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
BUSH: I hope their talks yield results.
MALVEAUX: It's unclear what kind of results upcoming talks will yield between Mr. Bush and Iraq's prime minister, Nouri Al-Maliki, hosted by Jordan's King Abdullah.
The three leaders will meet Wednesday evening. The following day, the president and the Iraqi prime minister will hold one-on-one talks to confront the Iraqi security crisis.
BUSH: My questions to him will be: What do we need to do to succeed? What is your strategy in dealing with the sectarian violence?
MALVEAUX: Pressure is growing on President Bush to come up with a working strategy of his own.
BUSH: There's one thing I'm not going to do. I'm not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete.
MALVEAUX: Mr. Bush argued, that mission goes beyond Iraq; it is global, that the war on terrorism is an epic struggle, involving numerous nations and spanning decades. He used that claim to implore European allies to increase their support for another battlefront, the war in Afghanistan.
(on camera): The success of both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will largely determine Mr. Bush's legacy. Right now, both are in trouble.
Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, Riga, Latvia.
ROBERTS: In those talks, President Bush might want to bring up a suspected terror training program. "The New York Times" reports that Hezbollah is actively helping the Shiite militia in Iraq. Coming up, we will talk about what that means for the peace efforts in the Middle East with the man who broke the story.
Plus: a shocking story out of Turkey -- women fearing for their lives, under threat from their own families. We will tell you why.
"When Faiths Collide," a special edition of 360, continues.
ROBERTS: More now on Iraq: "The New York Times" reported today that Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrillas are training Iraq's Shiite militia -- simply put, terrorists helping terrorists.
Joining me from Washington is the reporter who broke the story, "The Times"' chief military correspondent, Michael Gordon. He's also co-author of the book "Cobra II," about the Iraq war.
Michael, before we get into Hezbollah's support for the Shiite militias, and Iran's support of Hezbollah, supporting the Shiite militias, you have got a story just posted on "The New York Times" Web site about the White House's view of Nouri al-Maliki.
What do you got?
MICHAEL GORDON, CHIEF MILITARY CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, the national security adviser for President Bush, Steve Hadley, and a small number of officials from the National Security Council went to Iraq last month.
And Mr. Hadley met with the Iraqi prime minister. And, afterwards, he and his aides drafted a confidential memo which lays out the American strategy toward the prime minister of Iraq.
They -- they -- in that memo, if I read your article correctly -- and I only breezed over it, because it just posted -- they expressed doubts as to whether or not al-Maliki had the power and the commitment to rein in the sectarian violence, echoing some concerns that were rolling around in the Pentagon about a month ago.
Now, are they concerned that they -- they may have to push Maliki for some changes, maybe give him a bit of a backbone transplant, if they're to try to get a hold on this sectarian violence?
GORDON: Well, it's a little more complicated than that.
It's a very candid memo, in the -- in the way it speaks about the Iraqi leader. But what it says is, he says all the right things. He sort of walks -- he talks the talk, but he doesn't necessarily walk the walk, so to speak, and that they're concerned that there's a gap between his words and his performance.
And it says there are three possibilities. One, he's sincere, but he doesn't have the capability to make good on his pledges, because he's thwarted by other elements in his coalition, or that he's not being told the truth by the people around him, or that he's simply telling us what we want to hear.
And it says, we don't really know the answers to these questions -- this is the Bush administration speaking now -- and we...
GORDON: ... need to find out, and that it may be necessary, not only to put pressure on him, but also to build up his capability to act, maybe even to help him form a -- a -- a new political coalition in Iraq.
ROBERTS: So, do you expect that this is going to form the basis for some of the talks between President Bush and al-Maliki in their one-on-one session, which occurs on Thursday morning?
GORDON: Well, what's really striking is that many of the ideas put forward in this memo are, in fact, already being carried out by the administration. They talk about trying to enlist the Saudi help in influencing events in Iraq. Well, the vice president went there. I think this memo really provides the input for the administration's review. And I do think it will color the discussions between President Bush and the Iraqi leader.
ROBERTS: Yes, and would seem to give a reason behind this new diplomatic push that the White House is engaging in.
The story that you had today in "The Times," Michael, about Hezbollah's support for Shiite militias, with Iran backing Hezbollah, what does that say about the potential for this administration engaging Iran in talks to try to bring peace and civility to -- to Iraq, if they're this much a part of the problem?
GORDON: This story today about Hezbollah, I would like to say, I did with my colleague Dexter Filkins, who actually, with the Iraqi staff, interviewed Mahdi army fighters in Iraq, and contributed a piece from there. And I contributed the piece from Washington.
But what it indicates is that Iran is meddling rather significantly in Iraq. And it's not only providing arms and training to militia fighters. It's also fostering this link between the Mehdi Army and Hezbollah.
And so while the Baker Commission, the independent panel chaired by former secretary of state, Jim Baker, and Lee Hamilton, is expected to recommend direct dialogue with Iran. The administration is very skeptical that that will lead to a productive resolution in Iran.
So this is going to be a point of, I think, tension between the Bush administration and the Baker Commission.
ROBERTS: So is this just naysayers in the administration looking for a reason to not talk to Iran, or do you believe that this is really hard intelligence. They have this information, and that this is a reason to not talk to Iran?
GORDON: Well, it's really happening. I mean, Iran really is meddling in Iraq, and they really are arming militia that are killing American soldiers. I mean, these are pretty much established facts. This is happening.
The question is what's the best way to deal with it? And should you take a hard line or try to draw them into a dialogue?
ROBERTS: All right. Michael, thanks very much. I look forward to reading the rest of your article when I get another 30 seconds. Appreciate you coming in.
GORDON: Thank you.
ROBERTS: Now here in New York, Saturday's killing of an unarmed man by police still has many unanswered questions. Officers fired at least 50 shots, most of them by one officer. Some experts say it may have been a case of what has been called contagious shooting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So it's possible that an officer could use this Glock and get off 31 rounds in less than 30 seconds?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Quite possible.
SANCHEZ: Can you show us?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Coming up in our next hour of 360, Rick Sanchez looks into contagious shootings, how it happens, and could it have happened this weekend in New York? Make sure you stay around for that.
Right now, though, back to Anderson in Turkey -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. Today -- hey, John. Thanks very much. In Turkey today, you know, a lot of ancient customs still exist.
Coming up next, we're going to talk to women who fear for their lives, all because of the brutal ritual of honor killings.
And some Turkish women still wearing head scarves. Why they choose an old tradition in a modern society. We're in Istanbul for this special edition of 360, "When Faiths Collide".
COOPER: Video of the pope arriving for a meeting earlier today in Ankara. You'll notice he was not using the Popemobile. He's traveling in an armored limousine, instead. He left the Popemobile back in Vatican City.
Welcome back to this special edition of 360, live in Istanbul, Turkey.
Our next story is frankly chilling. Turkish women living in the 21st Century but victimized by an ancient tradition.
Take a look.
COOPER (voice-over): A mother and father point to their daughter's wedding picture. This marriage, they say, cost her her life. Their daughter, Marjan (ph), committed suicide, trapped in a marriage she felt she couldn't leave, trapped by a culture in which some women are killed for wanting a divorce.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): She and her sister always talked about life. She told her sister she didn't like her mother in law.
When I went to see her after the wedding, she was upset. I asked her how she was doing, but she said she was OK. We wanted to take her back from her husband, but then we learned she died. COOPER: In Turkey's poor conservative southeast, if a woman is accused of shaming her husband's family by asking for a divorce, committing adultery, or even being raped, she risks being murdered. It's called an honor killing, a centuries old tradition designed to restore a family's honor.
Today some women are still being killed or pressured into committing suicide. All these women are victims. They won't show their faces on camera because they still fear retribution from their husband's families.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I went to Istanbul to get a divorce, but I was afraid to come back here because I'd have the same problems. My family here said, if I got a divorce, they would kill me. I tried to kill myself by overdosing on vitamins.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): During my marriage, I was stepped on and pushed around, abused by everyone. I told my family, but they said, "You chose it. It's your problem." So I took pills to try and kill myself.
COOPER: Suicide rates have sky-rocketed in this part of Turkey, and in June the United Nations sent a special envoy to investigate. The U.N. concluded that, while many of the deaths were suicides, some were honor killings disguised as a suicide or an accident.
Eager to modernize and join the European Union, Turkey has recently changed its laws, mandating life sentences for men convicted of honor killings. But traditions diehard, and many men here still believe honor killings are justified.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are bound by the rules. If a woman runs away, she must be killed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Good name is more important than the penalty. We don't care about the penalty. A good name is the most important thing in our world.
JULIA KRITTIAN, JOURNALIST: Most of the times it's nothing that the woman does willingly that stains the honor.
COOPER: Julia Krittian is a German journalist who's reported on honor killings.
KRITTIAN: There are all these histories of women being raped by their brothers or their fathers. It's always the fault of the women, never the fault of the man. And the woman is the one who has to bear the consequences.
COOPER: For Marjan's (ph) mother and father, the consequences of her death are deeply felt. Their daughter is gone, the pain still lingers, and this photo is just about all they have to remember her by.
COOPER: It's hard to believe that that old tradition still exists in this modern country.
I want to thank our sister network, CNN Turk. They shot a lot of that video and aired the story originally. I want to thank their help for putting this story together with us.
A country with deep divisions, Turkey is, a secular state with a deeply religious heritage, but in some parts, a modern vision. The two faces of Turkey coming up.
Plus a look at another division, the longstanding conflict between the Turks and the minority Kurdish people. How ancient rivalries could stand in the way of this country's ambitions, as this special edition of 360 continues.
GRAPHIC: Turkish Women Who Wear Headscarves: 1999, 73 percent; 2006, 63 percent.
COOPER: Those figures on head scarves underscore the contradictions of modern Turkey. On the one hand, struggling to place itself in this modern world and on the other, comfortable with its heritage.
CNN's Delia Gallagher reports.
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a country of contrasts. Divided between two continents. On one shore, Europe. On the other, Asia, where ancient structures mix with skyscrapers, where a deep belief in Islam infuses a decidedly secular society. One country that feels like two different worlds.
But you need only look to Turkey's most famous city, Istanbul, to see how steeped in religious history this country is. Once called Constantinople, it was the center of the Byzantine Empire. It was conquered by the Muslim Ottomans in the 15th century. Churches were turned into mosques, religious iconography covered over.
In the 1920s, another seismic event: a military commander named Mustafa Kemal Ataturk declared Turkey a republic, a secular republic.
REZA ASLAN, AUTHOR, "NO GOD BUT GOD": That sense that we're not just Muslim, but we're also Turks. And perhaps even Turks first. That yes, we do belong to this worldwide community of faith, but that doesn't mean we have to discard our deeply nationalistic identity as Turks.
GALLAGHER: Modern Turks worship in their own way.
ATIL KUTOGLU, DESIGNER: I went to the mosque a few times with my father, but it was always between in the family, and I was told by my mother, told to pray before going to bed to thank the God, and that was it. GALLAGHER: Atil Kutoglu is a typical modern-day Turk. He's a successful fashion designer who comes from Istanbul and shows in New York. He's a Muslim, but first and foremost, he is a Turk.
KUTOGLU: I feel always it is a great privilege as a fashion designer to be able to take inspiration from such a great culture and history.
GALLAGHER: The same can be said for Volcan Erson, the lead dancer with the Turkish Ballet.
VOLCAN ERSON, TURKISH BALLET: I'm a Muslim. I'm also a ballet dancer and an artist. But artists do not seek to smother religion. I see no contradiction between art and religion.
GALLAGHER (on camera): When most people think of Turkey, this is what they picture, a bustling bazaar filled with all kinds of traditional Turkish goods: from carpets to pashminas, ceramics to tea sets. And this is the grand bazaar, Turkey's oldest marketplace, dating back some 500 years. Turks call it the world's first mall.
But today it's mainly a place for tourists. The new face of commerce in Turkey is one you might find much more familiar.
(voice-over) This is the Canyon Mall with 26 floors of office space, 179 apartments, and more than 160 upscale shops. It is the face of modern Turkey, the view westward. But it's not the only face of Turkey. There's the blinding poverty of slums that ring Ankara and other cities, as well as very conservative rural areas.
ASLAN: When you have these kinds of populations that feel economically or socially or even politically alienated from their own communities, that really becomes a breeding ground for the kinds of extremism that we see in other poor places, like in Gaza or in Afghanistan or in southern Pakistan.
GALLAGHER: But for now, the future meets the past. Young and old worship together in the blue mosque. The Haghia Sophia displays its remnants of both the Byzantine and Ottoman past. Faith and commerce go inside. And Turkey's story remains a well told tale of two countries.
COOPER: What's so remarkable about Turkey is that they've been able to have this secular democracy and really reject Islamic fundamentalism, even though 90 percent of the population is Muslim.
GALLAGHER: Well, they have an interesting secular democracy, because they do have this branch of religious affairs, which is kind of an office that oversees many -- all of the mosques here really. There are about 75,000 mosques here in Turkey.
COOPER: So the government really builds the mosque. The government determines who the clerics are and what they say. GALLAGHER: Well, yes, and they write the sermons. So they really keep a heavy control on what is happening in the mosques. And, you know, the converse side of that is the question of freedom of speech and freedom of religion for its people.
COOPER: There are some Muslims here who complain that their rights to practice Islam as they would like aren't being recognized.
GALLAGHER: That's right. And so it goes to the whole question of freedom of religion here, which was something that the pope was bringing up as well in his talk today with regard to non-Muslim religions. But it's also something that some Muslim leaders complain about.
COOPER: And likely the pope is going to talk about that a lot in the coming days.
COOPER: Thanks very much.
Another part of Turkey's story: Al Qaeda leaving its mark. Coordinated blasts, dozens killed. Coming up, Muslim extremists seeking an Islamic state here in Turkey. Could it actually happen? We'll take a look.
And Turks versus Kurds. Two ethnic groups, two divisions. Not on the same page. We'll map it out for you when this special edition of 360, live from Turkey, continues.
COOPER: Turkish people sharing their thoughts in a survey. Most say U.S. troops in Iraq are the biggest danger to world peace. Turkey shares part of its southern border with Iraq, an area with a high population of Kurds.
Turks and Kurds, neighbors but tense neighbors. CNN's Tom Foreman maps it out for us.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Take a look at Turkey, slightly larger than Texas, a geographic and political bridge between Europe and the Middle East. It is almost entirely Muslim but operates as a secular democracy of 70 million people.
Eighty percent are ethnically Turkish; 20 percent are Kurdish. And the Kurds largely live along this border region spilling over into Syria, Iraq, and Iran, and this is a trouble zone for Turkey.
(voice-over) Since the early '80s, the Turkish government has been fighting Kurdish separatists known as the PKK, who want an independent nation for their people. The battle has taken 30,000 lives. The European Union and the U.S. consider the PKK a terrorist group, but they have urged Turkey to give the Kurds more rights in an attempt to pacify them and defuse the PKK's campaign.
(on camera) Turkey has something to gain in all of this. It is working towards membership in the European Union and access to its rich markets. But...
INGRID MATTSON, PRESIDENT, ISLAM SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA: It's a very complex situation. Turks are strongly nationalistic, very patriotic, and they -- they resent any kind of suggestion of outside interference in their affairs.
FOREMAN: Another issue, Cyprus. Half of this island in the Mediterranean is politically and culturally allied with Turkey, the other half with Greece, and this has led to years of conflict.
And although talks for reunification of the island have made progress, Turkey is being pushed by the European community to give Cyprus full recognition. After all, Cyprus is already a member of the E.U., just as Turkey hopes to be.
(on camera) If Turkey enters the E.U., it would be one of the largest member nations with a population second only to Germany, and the E.U. would go overnight from an overwhelmingly Christian group to one with 70 million Muslims minding its southern gate -- Anderson.
COOPER: Tom, thanks very much.
Coming up, tension on another level. Back in the U.S., it is our "Shot of the Day". John Roberts has that, along with the "360 Bulletin."
ROBERTS: Thanks, Anderson.
Eight former sheriff's office employees were arrested in the death of a 14-year-old at a Florida boot camp almost a year ago. Martin Anderson collapsed in January on the 5th at the camp in Panama City.
Videotape of the incident showed Anderson being pushed to the ground and punched several times. An initial autopsy found that Anderson died from complications from sickle cell traits.
A second autopsy revealed that the teen was suffocated by guards who were restraining him.
Four people are dead, at least ten injured, after a minivan ran off the road west of Denver, Colorado. State troopers in Idaho Springs are looking for the driver, who fled the scene on foot. They say at least some of the passengers in the van appear to be illegal immigrants. Cuban President Fidel Castro says he will not take part in celebrations for his 80 birthday, which began today. He has not been seen in public since undergoing emergency surgery for an undisclosed illness. Castro temporarily handed over power to his brother Raul back on July 31.
And leaders of a Denver, Colorado, subdivision say they will not fine a homeowner who put a Christmas wreath shaped like a peace sign on the front door of her home. The homeowners association threatened to fine the woman $25 a day if she did not remove the wreath.
The association says some residents saw the wreath as a protest of the Iraq war. Others said it was a symbol of Satan. The group has apologized and now says it was all a misunderstanding.
Here's our "Shot of the Day". It comes from Massachusetts, where it's machete versus gun. A store clerk in Holyoke decided to take matters into his own hands and fight back when a shoplifter threatened to shoot him.
The clerk is seen on this surveillance tape grabbing a machete from under the counter and waving it at the would-be robber. He says the man had been trying to steal adult magazines.
Machete against a gun. If that came to blows, Anderson, I wonder which one would win.
COOPER: Coming up -- thanks very much, John.
Coming up, we'll have more on "When Faiths Collide", the pope's visit to Turkey. We'll talk to CNN Vatican analysts about how Pope Benedict is doing reaching out to Muslims.
And we'll take you to the Netherlands, where soft drugs are legal, but burkas could soon not be. Why one of Europe's most liberal countries is taking that step.
And in the United States, a community struggling to come to grips with a wedding day tragedy. A young man, father of two, killed by police in a hail of gun fire just hours before he was to walk down the aisle. Why did police fire more than 50 shots? CNN's Rick Sanchez looks at what's known as contagious shooting when 360 continues. Stay tuned.
COOPER: This next hour on 360, we are live from Istanbul, Turkey, on day one of Pope Benedict's historic visit to this mostly Muslim country. He arrived with his work cut out for him and the word watching.
ANNOUNCER: The red carpet, the flash of cameras, the tight security. The pope arrives in Turkey, a high profile visit with high hopes, a call for unity with Muslims.
POPE BENEDICT XVI, LEADER OF CATHOLIC CHURCH: They will come to know one another better and wish to live together in harmony and peace.
ANNOUNCER: Also on the agenda, a push for religious freedom, giving Catholics and all faiths the right to worship in Muslim nations. But will the pope's message fall on deaf ears?
And was it the right house or not? An elderly woman shot to death by Atlanta police in a drug bust. As she's laid to rest, the investigation takes quite a turn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The officers were saying one thing. The confidential informant is saying something else.
ANNOUNCER: So who is telling the truth?
Across the country and around the world, this is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360, "When Faiths Collide: The Pope in Turkey". Reporting from Istanbul, here's Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: Thanks for joining us evening.
Istanbul is Turkey's largest city and later this week, Pope Benedict will make his way here. Behind me is the Bosphorus Strait. I'm standing on the European side of the Bosphorus.
The pope began his trip on the Asian side of Turkey in Ankara, the capital, where he met briefly with Turkey's prime minister. What he told the Turkish leader surprised a lot of people. We'll get to that in a moment.
First, John Roberts is standing by in New York with another story we're covering tonight -- John.
ROBERTS: Thanks, Anderson.
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