May 3, 2009
EEZ EET SAFE?:
Reclusive Iraqi Cleric Al-Sadr visits Turkey (AP, 5/03/09)
An Iraqi cleric who led bloody rebellions against U.S. troops but stayed out of public view in the last two years has made an unusually visible appearance in Turkey, which is raising its own profile as a mediator in the region.Posted by Orrin Judd at May 3, 2009 7:31 AM
Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr met about 70 fellow Iraqi Shiites in Istanbul, Turkey's biggest city, on Saturday in what representatives described as a discussion of ways to contribute to Iraq's future. [...]
Al-Sadr said last year that his withdrawal from public view was motivated in part by his desire to focus on his studies to become a mujtahid, or a religious authority. On Saturday, al-Obeidi said al-Sadr's whereabouts was kept secret, possibly reflecting concern for the cleric's safety.
"Turkey is a good, old friend," he said. "Trusting that, we have no hesitations to travel in Turkey."