On Tuesday January 17, 2023, the Director of the Franciscan Missionary Center, Friar Paolo FIASCONARO, donated copies of a recent Turkish translation of the Gospels and Acts to Mr. Lütfullah GÖKTAŞ, the Ambassador of Turkey to the Holy See.

The copies were sent to the Missionary Center by the Provincial Custody of the Orient and the Holy Land as thanks for the financial contribution it made toward the translation and printing costs of the book. The Center thought it appropriate to make a gift of six copies to the Embassy of Turkey to the Holy See, which welcomed the gesture.
The meeting was very cordial. The ambassador complimented the Turkish translation of the Gospels and remarked that is would be useful in making Christ better known to Muslims. During the lengthy and jovial meeting, the ambassador reported that he was well acquainted with our friars and the publishing activities carried out at the St. Anthony of Padua Church in Istanbul. In particular, he had for many years been personally acquainted with the late Friar Luigi IANNITTO from Abruzzo, Italy. Friar Luigi had been a missionary in Turkey for forty-eight years. The ambassador had read some of his forty publications in Turkish on catechetical, patristic and hagiographic topics.
In addition, the ambassador said he was willing to offer a copy of these Gospels to the Holy Father and also to the Vatican libraries.
Beside the Gospels, the Center also gave Mr. GÖKTAŞ a copy of “Andate e Annunziate” [Go Forth and Proclaim], which is about the Conventual Franciscan missionary presences in the world.
The need to translate and publish the Gospels in Turkish arose from the constant pastoral ministry of our friars in Turkey. They carry out extensive publishing activities. They wanted to disseminate sacred texts and the Liturgy of the Hours and Missal among Muslims. In the project description that the friars sent to the Missionary Center, they wrote: “Publishing these Christian texts is an act of missionary outreach and of proclaiming the Gospel. Moreover, Muslims who read it may learn more about Christian values, even if they do not convert.”
This edition of the Gospels in Turkish was first published in 2009. In a few years, its 20,000 copies were sold out. In 2018, the former Custodial Vicar, Friar Martin KMETEC, now Archbishop of Izmir and President of the Turkish Bishops’ Conference, worked with a team of collaborators to create this latest edition of the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles. This edition is a study version and is accompanied by introductions and notes. It is 696 pages long. 2,000 copies were printed as a deluxe edition and 15,000 copies were printed in popular format.

Director of the Franciscan Missionary Center