Ankara - A pro-Islamic political party in Turkey is hoping for as many as 100,000 people will turn out in Istanbul on Sunday, November 26, to protest against the upcoming visit to Turkey by Pope Benedict XVI.

According to a press release issued by the Saadet (Happiness) Party on Monday, the protesters will march under the banner "Don't let the ignorant and sly pope come to Turkey."

Muslims in Turkey and across the world were outraged when the pope made a speech in Germany in September in which he quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor as saying that Islam is a religion spread by the sword.

Pope Benedict XVI has since expressed his regret that the comments caused offence.

Turkish authorities are believed to organizing an enormous security operation for the pope's November 28 to December 1 visit.

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