Pope Francis has arrived in Turkey for a three-day visit with an agenda to hold interfaith dialogue amid the raging violence in the Middle East mostly due to Islamist extremism.
Capitalising on the ongoing unrest in the region, the pontiff is likely to looking for opportunities to promote conversations between Muslims and Christians.
Ahead of his visit to Muslim-dominated areas in Turkey on his first day, he urged Catholic believers to pray that his visit would bear "the fruits of peace, sincere dialogue among religions and harmony in the Turkish nation".
Pope Francis is staying in the Vatican embassy in Turkey.
Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News reports foreign ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgic as saying that topics including the "alliance of civilisations, dialogue between cultures, xenophobia, the fight against racism and political developments in the region" are also on the cards during Francis' trip.
The pontiff will also meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu when he visits capital Ankara for his address.
The leader of the Catholic Church will visit several other historic and religious places as part of his tour.
"His visit will bring positivity, respect, love and tolerance," said opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) religious expert İhsan Özkes.