Religion, politics, the West and the Middle East

Religion, politics, the West and the Middle East

The expression went, “The person who prays to God…” A forehead touching the prayer carpet was almost superior to a thousand diplomas in those times… 

In one night, we have seen that this was a superstition. Hundreds of people who prayed to God, whose foreheads touched the prayer rug, are now passing before us in handcuffs. 

We were saying that religion should not be involved in politics. We learned overnight that this sentence was wrong. The correct version should have been: “Politicians should not be involved in religion.” Only this way can both belief and politics be saved, and thus the country be saved. 

Question for today and tomorrow  

Was it only the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) who politically abused religion in this country? If we are saying we should end making religion a tool for politics, then yes, but it’s not enough… 

Dear conservative brother, for this to be adequate, a much more sincere, much more courageous, a much deeper confession and self-criticism are needed. From now on, will the Quran cease to be a placard of a political party in rallies? Will politics not be allowed in mosques?  

Dear secular brother, don’t assume that you are very innocent and that your past is very clear. Note that the conservatives and the Islamists who have abused religion are quite guilty but you have a portion of guilt on your side, too.

A butler, an agent and a lover 

In the vulgar days of the past, some would call me the “butler of America.” There were those who would write that I was a “CIA agent.” A top statesman of the past called me a “British-lover.” 

I studied in France and because of that I was labeled “Francophile.” Because I am writing for the daily Bild, I am of course a “German agent.” 

As a matter of fact, it is Italy I love the most, but somehow not a soul has called me “Italianist.” 

I like the U.S., its democracy, pop culture and rock and roll, but I am not too much of a pro-American.  
I like the Anglo-Saxon culture, its Rolling Stones, Beatles, Cure, and I like its ethics... But I am not a “Brit-lover.” 

It is the country of Sartre and Camus; I have learned a lot from France, but that culture has also taught me not to be a “Francophile.” 

I like Germany, I admire Thomas Mann. Bach is some of the best music in my life. I was not born in Germany to Turkish parents, but out of respect to 3 million of our people who live in this country, I will not say I am not a “German-Turk.” 

Turkey is my motherland, my fatherland, my ancestral land… but I am not a Turkist either. I am actually a Western person. I am a patriotic, nationalist Westerner. I see the future of my country in the West. What I am completely the opposite of is a Middle Easterner. 

When I look at yesterday, what I see in the Middle East is the ungrateful stab in the back of my ancestors 100 years ago… When I look today, it is a bog we have become immersed in up to our throats… Blood, murder, betrayal, oppression, ignorance and a discord that makes a Muslim murder another Muslim…

For this reason, I absolutely do not like the Westernphobia that started on the night of July 15 and has spread like a holy alliance from the people closest to me to the people very far away from me.