An İskenderun court sentenced Murat Altun on Jan. 22 to 15 years in prison for the 2010 killing of Luigi Padovese, the Pope’s apostolic vicar, in the southern Anatolian Turkish district.
Padovese was stabbed to death by his driver Altun, who had been working with the bishop for five years.
Initial investigations eliminated the possibility of a political dimension to the crime, the governor had said, adding that the suspect had been receiving treatment for psychological disorders. Although the investigations are ongoing, Hatay Governor Mehmet Celalettin Lekesiz had said in 2010 that “The murder of Padovese seems to have been for personal reasons.”
In 2007, a Roman Catholic priest in the western city of İzmir, Adriano Franchini, was stabbed and slightly wounded in the stomach by a 19-year-old after Sunday Mass.
The same year, a group of men entered a Bible-publishing house in the central Anatolian city of Malatya and killed three Christians, including a German
In 2006, amid widespread anger in Islamic countries over the publication in European newspapers of caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, a 16-year-old boy shot dead a Catholic priest, Father Andrea Santoro, as he prayed in his church in the Black Sea
city of Trabzon. The boy was convicted of murder and sentenced to 18 years in prison.