I want to make a film on how, why I shot Pope John Paul II-Mehmet Ali Agca
London, Feb. 16, 2020 (AltAfrica)- The man who shot Pope John Paul II has told of his relief that his victim did not die… and has revealed he was his plan to one day make a film on how and why he did what he did.
In an extraordinary interview with the Daily Mirror, Mehmet Ali Agca said “I am planning to make a film or some sort of documentary on what happened. I am hoping Hollywood will be interested”
When asked if he regretted the 1981 attack which shocked the world.
After pausing for a second the former terrorist replied: “It was destiny. And it was destiny he survived. I am very glad he didn’t die.
“The Pope became like a brother to me. When he died [in 2005] I felt like my brother or my best friend had died.”We tracked down Agca, 62, to Istanbul, Turkey, where he lives in a small apartment in a quiet suburb.
After 29 years in jail he has renounced his violent past and neighbours know him better as the kind man who daily feeds stray cats and dogs.He said: “I think of how I shot the Pope on most days… not every day now but most days
“I’m a good man now. I try to live my life properly. When I shot him I was 23. I was young and I was ignorant.“I remember how rational I felt. I fired the gun and then it jammed.
Agca also disclosed, for the first time, that he had an English girlfriend just five months before he attacked John Paul II in St Peter’s Square, Rome.He said: “I already knew I was going to shoot the Pope but I didn’t tell my English girlfriend. It wouldn’t have been fair on her.
“You know I had an English girlfriend? I met her in Tunisia in December 1980. Her name was Edith. We met at the Intercontinental Hotel in Hammonasset. I was travelling on a false passport and she would have known me as Farouk.
“I already knew I was going to try and kill the Pope but I didn’t tell her.“She worked in a large London department store like Harrods.
I can’t remember which one.“She was very, very beautiful and I had a great time with her.“She was six or seven years older than me.
But she certainly didn’t know her boyfriend was already planning to kill the Pope.“I do sometimes wonder what happened to her.”
Agca is still reluctant to discuss exactly how his sinister mission came about but the facts are well documented.
At 5.17pm on Wednesday May 13, 1981, as John Paul passed in the Popemobile through excited pilgrims in St Peter’s Square, Agca fired four shots with a 9mm Browning Hi-Power semi-automatic pistol.
He fled in the ensuing panic and got rid of the pistol by throwing it under a lorry. He was then grabbed by a Vatican security chief, a nun and several spectators.
All four bullets hit the Pope, critically injuring him. Two lodged in his colon, one hit his left index finger and the other injured his right arm.
Agca, who had also been charged with murdering left-wing newspaper editor Abdi Ipekci in Istanbul in 1979, was sentenced to life in jail for shooting John Paul.
But the Pope forgave him and after his recovery, visited him in prison.
“There are some things I cannot talk about. In that 22-minute private meeting with the Pope when he visited me in jail there are some things I have never discussed what he told me. It was very special.”
In 2000 Agca was pardoned at the Pope’s request and extradited to Turkey where he spent another 10 years in jail after he was convicted of murdering Mr Ipekci and raiding two banks.
After half a lifetime behind bars he is now transformed but still reluctant to discuss exactly how the mission came about and who financed it.But he did confirm the Soviet Union was behind the shooting.
He said: “It was they who plotted the assassination – they wanted him dead.”
After his release Agca worked as a car salesman but he now lives on royalties from book sales.
He said: “I managed to learn some English when I was in prison. I read The Da Vinci code – it’s a very primitive book about what happens in the Vatican. I also read Tom Clancy.
“I would very much like to visit London if I could get a visa.”Then he joked: “I’m up to date on Brexit – perhaps that will change everything.”
Agca, who is single and never married, is now hoping to tell his story on the big screen. He said: “I am planning to make a film or some sort of documentary on what happened. I am hoping Hollywood will be interested.