The Alitalia plane in which the Pope traveled arrived at the Ankara airport at 12 noon. He was received by the Apostolic Nuncio to Turkey and an official delegation from the government.
During the flight, the Pope highlighted the important humanitarian work that Turkey is offering by welcoming hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria and Iraq.
The Pope wore a simple white coat. Currently in Turkey the temperatures reach 44°F (5°C).
Twenty minutes after his arrival, he went to the Mausoleum of Mustafá Kemal Atatürk, the father of modern-day Turkey. It is a formal visit that every Head of State is required to make.
For security reasons, the Turkish government asked the Pope to travel in a large vehicle, though they respected his request for a simple car.
Once inside the Mausoleum, the Pope placed this flower wreath before the tomb of Mustafá Kemal, where he stood briefly in silence. Surrounded by a crowd of journalists, he then signed a dedication in the Golden Book.
He expressed his desire that Turkey, "a natural bridge between two continents, be not only a crossroad, but also a place of encounter” between people of all cultures, ethnicities and religions.