Mehmet Ali Agca, Pope John Paul’s would-be assassin due to be released from prison on Monday, has answered a set of questions put to him by Reuters through his lawyers. Earlier on Wednesday, his lawyers issued a hand-written letter to journalists in which he called for a new “American Empire.” Our later news story on his answers to our questions highlights his stated desire to visit the late pope’s tomb in Saint Peter’s Basilica. The statement went on to call on Pope Benedict to announce the end of the world and say he would prove he was “Agca the Messiah” and would write the “perfect Bible.” Agca’s answers are rambling and bizarre. Since we’re bound to hear more from him when he’s released, here’s the complete text of the Q&A to give a fuller view of his current thinking. The Reuters bureau in Istanbul translated it from the original Turkish.
1. How are you feeling after your many years in prison?
“For around thirty years I have been staying in cells on my own. I experienced hell on earth. But in spite of everything I am well. I feel good in myself both physically and psychologically.”
2. Have your beliefs changed during your time in prison and what have you learned from your experience?
“I have read at least a thousand books, most of them scientific, during my time in prison. I have experienced great change and development as a result of a synthesis of experience and knowledge. I have understood world history. I have understand the nature of humanity.