Important remarks from President of Diyanet Görmez

President of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez was the guest of “İskele Sancak” live news program aired on Kanal 7 TV.

President Görmez made important remarks concerning current affairs on Turkey’s agenda at the program where serious topics such as the state of the Islamic World, human tragedy in Syria and Aleppo, terrorism, the Fethullah Gülen terrorist organization (FETÖ), religious communities and sects were discussed.

Some of the topics of President Görmez’s speech during the İskele Sancak program anchored by Kanal 7 Ankara Representative Mehmet Acet are as follows:

“2016 was maybe one of the hardest year in history in terms of humanity…”

2016 was maybe one of the hardest year in history in terms of humanity for both our country and our region. Year 2016 was the year when shadow of violence and war wandered all over the region, when a state of mercilessness dominated the globe, when masses were murdered and when innocent children and women were massacred. When we consider the world, universe as a whole, we could see that each one of us is responsible for all these. Each person living in this world would get his share for the wickedness committed in this world. In this light, we must pray and say, “Holly Allah, may thy forgive all humankind”. May Allah not allow us to live another year like this. But time is not guilty. Humankind is the one that commits all big sins and wickedness at all times.

 “Conveying condolences is not enough to fulfill our obligations to the families of martyrs…”

2016 was the year when our nation and country witnessed the fall of many martyrs. Many of our people were mercilessly murdered in big cities in the country as well as the ones in the Southeastern Anatolia before July 15. Moreover, 248 of our fellow citizens lost their lives when they offered their bodies as a shield against tanks in order to protect the law and order of the country on the night of July 15. Our suffering did not end after July 15. Many innocent people were massacred in different parts of the country. Recently, there have been explosions in Kayseri and İstanbul. Our soldiers were martyred at the Operation Euphrates Shield. May Allah bless the souls of all of our martyrs. I also hope that our veterans will recover soon. May Allah provide patience and comfort to their families. Conveying condolences is not enough to fulfill our obligations to the families of martyrs. Here, I want to address every single citizen. These families did not lose their children not only for the sake of the country but also for you. We must be grateful to them and we must become their families. We must use every means possible to try to ease their pain.

As a human beings, we are all responsible for this ship of universe…”

What was the panorama of the world and the Islamic world in 2016? When we consider the world from the angle of the Holy Quran, we see that it is not right to divide the world into two. It is not right to divide the world as west and east or north and south. The world is a whole. Allah is the lord of both west and east or north and south.  Muslim believers are obliged to see the world as a whole in terms of goodness and evil. They are obliged to be informed about the person even if he lives in the most deserted place of the world when he was the victim of a vicious act. They are obliged to prevent it. We share this world.  We are the children of the same soil. We are the children of Adam and Eve. As Prophet Ali once said; “We are either the same when we were created or become brothers of one religion.” In this light, even before mentioning Islam or other religions, we must remember that as human beings, we are all responsible for this ship of universe. Almighty Allah created humanity to jointly build prosperity around the universe that the Lord created.

“The Islamic world failed to be the ‘World of Islam’ in the year 2016…”

The Islamic world failed to be the ‘World of Islam’ in the year 2016. The world of Islam is the place of Salaam. The place that lacks Salaam cannot be considered as a part of the world of Islam. The place where there is no emaan cannot the place of faith. If there is faith, then there would be eman. In this light, presence of performers of salaat, recitation of the azan and believers of Allah are not enough to name a place or a geographic location as a part of the World of Islam. Those who are worshipping Allah, performing salaat and reciting azan should also believe in the justice and mercy of Islamic tradition.  They should also perform salaam, faith and eman at the same time. But when we take a look at all capitals, we see that they are still burning with pain. Many families are suffering, many children are becoming orphans, many people have lost their spouses, many cities are destroyed and civilizations are destroyed. Last year was the year when many negative things happened. May Allah forgive all humankind for the sins they have committed and do not let us experience such a year full of mercilessness and violence. We again surrendered to wars.

“Every believer living in this geographic location is the safeguard of hope...”

There are the hard times of humanity, nations, cultures, civilizations and religious communities. When we consider this fact from the view point of civilization and history of Islam or when we consider this about our nation from the perspective of history, we will see that we always faced hard times. We have been experiencing harder times since the beginning of this century. In medieval ages, we suffered massive hardships with the Mongol invasion combined with Crusades. But, recent years were hard, too. Every believer living in this geographic location is the safeguard of hope. May Allah allow us to leave all these behind, draw the necessary lessons from history and may 2017 will be a year when better days, peace, mercy and justice prevail.

“Our beloved nation has shown that humanity did not and will not die in Aleppo…”

I must say that we had some hesitations while launching the “Do not let humanity die in Aleppo” campaign. Our nation was burning like embers due to the death of their children but it also maintained its struggle to deal with internal and external betrayals. We have been trying to cure our wounds inflicted by terrorist organizations. Despite all these, our beloved nation has shown that humanity did not and will not die in Aleppo. Like I said a short while ago, one of the most important issues that turns the pessimistic panorama into an optimistic panorama is to see that every single person of this nation takes a bold stance when we call on them to help others by launching “Do not allow humanity die in Aleppo” and they all rallied for help and displayed sensitivity… This is awesome. May Allah protect this nation from any harm. This nation donated 63 million only on one Friday. Recently, a lady passed me an envelope during a meeting. I thought she might have a request and I took her note. When I opened it, I saw a ring and read the note inside the envelope. It was saying, “Dear President, I am married for 13 years. I want to give this ring which is the symbol of 13 years of my marriage as a hope to the children living in Aleppo and whose only hope is our donations. May Allah, bless us all.” There are hundreds of similar examples. While some are destroying Aleppo, while these persons who are saying that they are Muslims are ruining that magnificent Aleppo built by Prophet Zekeriya and massacring children, every single person of this nation offered their helping hand to that big and beautiful city. 

“Today’s terrorism is a war method of global wickedness that does not recognize ethics and law…”

Today, terrorism is a war method of global wickedness that does not recognize ethics and law. It emerges as a war method that has been carried out in order to destroy identities. Today’s terror brings out all sicknesses such as sectarianism, racism, tribalism, enmity and hatred inherited from history. Today’s terrorism is not just about today. Today’s terrorism is destroying upcoming centuries, threatening the future generations and is sowing seeds of unrest, wickedness and division that would always affect all of us.

“Biggest terrorism is identifying Islam with terrorism…”

When we consider its relation with religion, we could see that the greatest victim of terrorism is religion. The greatest terrorism is not terrorism itself but its identification with Islam. The biggest victim of the terror is Islam which was sent to earth as the last religion by Allah. Global wickedness is using it as a modern method of colonization. It is not right to seek only external reasons while making an assessment of recent events. And it is not right to put the blame only on external powers. We must surely eliminate the reasons due to internal reasons.

“Giving fatwa for suicide attack is the greatest sin that might be committed against Islam…”

Attempt to call immoral and illegal suicide attacks as the acts committed in the name of Allah and giving fatwa for such suicide attacks places the person who gives such fatwa in a position worse than murderers and slayers. Such is the greatest sin that might be committed against Islam as they legalize such crime and destroy the meaning of a magnificent concept such as jihad. Such attacks have no links with Islam and the history of Islam. This state of insanity can only be committed by a sick nihilist ideology that believes that life has no meaning and that has lost the purpose of creation, lost contact with Allah and has lost faith. Nobody should try to find such examples in the pages of history or between the lines of religious books. There is no such thing. It is not possible to associate the state of insanity of modern times, nihilist ideology, state of mind that lost the meaning of purpose of creation and life and ideology of mercilessness with religion, Islam or history of Islam.

“There is no difference between the murderers in Aleppo and murderers in Karbala. There is no difference between the victims of Aleppo and Karbala…”

The reason of dirty wars taking place in this geographical location is not sectarian conflict, instead sectarian conflict is a result. It is a result that lies underneath the shadow of wars and it is all about the relapse of sickness that emerges due to lack of knowledge and reason. Is there a conflict between sects? Yes, there is. Where is it? If a murderer who has lost all kinds of mercy kills children and destroys Aleppo by claiming that he is seeking revenge for Karbala and record his claim and announces this to the world media, then you cannot name such an act as a total sectarian war. Similarly, when an ISIS militant massacres a person and claims that he has been taking revenge from all Shias, then it means that we all have been witnessing how conflict of power and interest evolves into immoral sectarian conflict.  But, Aleppo cannot be the revenge for Karbala. There is no difference between the murderers in Aleppo and murderers in Karbala. There is no difference between the victims of Aleppo and Karbala. In other words, murderers are murderers. The religion or the sect of a murderer cannot be considered.

“Followers of Sunnah is the main path and it is not a sect…”

Throughout history, we have been stating that we are on the main path of Islam that builds civilizations. In other words, we did not view the world, universe and humankind from the narrow perspective of sects. We view these from the eye of people from different walks of life. We have the children of civilization that raised Yunus, Mevlana, Hacı Bektaşi Veli. We did not name the path only as a sect. We accepted Islam’s main path that builds civilizations. Mr. President has been emphasizing the same especially while we are passing through a tough period. He says he does not name his path as Sunnah or Shia adding that his religion is Islam. This is what our citizens and those who rule the country should repeatedly say during hard times while everybody in this geographical location started to declare each other as unbelievers. Followers of Sunnah (Ehl-i sünnet) is not a sect. It is a main path. This path teaches us some principles. We never declare any believer as nonbeliever. We never declare our brothers who pray to Allah as nonbeliever.

“If there is a single person who still devote himself to FETÖ with a clear mind, if he has still little devotion in his heart, then this person should review his heart and mind from the view point of knowledge and insight…”

July 15 is a very important U-turn and important milestone in the history of this nation. This nation has embraced and defended the state of law that night and each member of this nation wrote an epic story on their own; these facts cannot be neglected. July 15 also marks an important date in the history of Diyanet. More than hundreds of thousands of religious volunteers joined forces with the nation and they deserve all kinds of appreciation while they supported the power of resistance of the nation by performing salah calls from the minarettes. I thank Allah for allowing us to perform salah that silenced the coup attempt.  July 15 was not only a coup attempt, it was an invasion attempt. It was total betrayal. July 15 is a very important date for this country, Diyanet and the history of our religion. It will become an important issue that many theologians would study its reasons and results in the history of religion as it was staged by claiming that it was staged in the name of religion and it was directed by a structure claiming to be acting in the name of religion, although it was fake.

I want to address every single person of our nation: If there is a single person who still devotes himself to FETÖ with clear mind, if he has still little devotion in his heart, then this person should review his heart and mind from the view point of knowledge and insight.

“Representatives of global wickedness opened schools that would allow them to increase their colonization power and raise the intellectuals of colonization…”

When we consider the transitions in this geographical location in 2000s, we can see such a panorama. Emergence of many Muslim countries and communities with the fall of Soviet Union. End of official colonies in Africa marked the foundation of many Muslim countries and communities. Refugee Muslims living in Europe became citizens and formed settled masses. Islam became a rising force in the world. Against this power, representatives of global wickedness have sent two things to these places; ideas and acts that produce violence in the Middle East or schools that would allow them to increase their colonization power and raise the intellectuals of colonization.

“It is wrong to associate religious communities and sects with FETÖ…

Religious structures, religious organizations, social-religious bodies have been a reality throughout the history. Such structures were mainly known as sects before the history of Republic. In other words, sufic organizations were known as sects. In modern times, some structures preferred to name themselves as communities. Consequently, more traditional structures continued their activities under the name of foundations, nongovernmental organizations and associations throughout the history of the Republic. It is wrong to associate all these structures with FETÖ especially in the aftermath of July 15. If one structure had betrayed its own society and country, instructed tanks to threaten the people of the country, ordered to bomb the Parliament, committed evil acts in various scales, produced a new religion or philosophy, then it is not right or fair to consider this structure under the same category of any other religious community. This does not mean that religious social organizations founded in order to serve the religious and moral life of the society did not make any other mistakes. Of course, they might have made some mistakes. The question is to draw a frame that will assist these organizations not to make same mistakes. We have five basic principles that should be obeyed by these organizations. First of all, they should never be involved in violence. No matter who he is, if a person or a group applies violence, he has to face all of us as a nation. Secondly, it should never declare someone or some group as a nonbeliever. Third, never marginalize. Forth, it should never leave the main frame of Islam or in other words knowledge. Fifth is the putting human kind to the center. Realities should not be replaced by persons. Eternal truth cannot be built around mortal personalities.

“We have to open our hearts to each other and launch a movement of mercy…”

President Görmez ended his remarks with a prayer saying, “We have to open our hearts to each other and launch a movement of mercy. We can overcome the wickedness trying to capture us from inside and outside with unity, solidarity and brotherhood. Year ends and beginnings are the times when we perform self-accounting. Before the great day when we all face the Almighty, we have to take an account of what we have done. May Allah allow us to eliminate the evil that had occupied the world and leave a better world to our children.”