As ten Turkish soldiers stood in ranks, the Supreme Pontiff walked down the ramp from his plane to be greeted by Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkish Ambassador to the Vatican Prof. Mehmet Pacaci, Vatican Ambassador to Turkey Antonio Lucibello, and the famous Turkish actress Serra Yilmaz.
Over their heads both the Turkish and the Vatican flags waved, and the Pope, wearing a long white coat, shook hands with all of those who came to greet him.
Before leaving the airport, Pope had a cup of Turkish tea with minister Cavusoglu and the ambassadors.
Finally Pope Francis drove away in a Volkswagen Passat, while the rest of the party used a waiting Mercedes.
The 76-year-old Argentine pope is the fourth Supreme Pontiff to visit Turkey. Pope Paul VI visited the country in 1967, Pope John Paul II in 1979 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.
The spiritual leader of the world’s one billion Catholics, during his visit to Anitkabir, the mausoleum of founder of Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, expressed his best wishes to Turkey with his handwriting to Ataturk special register, described the country as a "natural bridge between two continents" and "a crossroad where men and women of goodwill encounter from all cultures, ethnicities and religions".
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will receive Pope Francis at the Presidential Palace.
The head of Turkey's religious affairs, Mehmet Gormez, will meet with Pope Francis, and the two will hold a joint press conference.
The Supreme Pontiff will depart early Saturday for Istanbul, where he is expected to hold a Mass at the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit and pay a visit to Sultanahmet Mosque.