Oceanic inclusivity and all-embracing Turkey
One day in 13th century Anatolia, a Muslim who had fallen into bad ways and habits decided to repent and devote his life to Sufism. With this aim in mind he appealed to a local sheikh in Eskişehir, a disciple of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi. The sheikh refused to accept the man as a student on the grounds that his heart was too polluted with earthly desires and lust. Rejected and miserable, the man travelled to Konya where, with no hope of being accepted as a student, he knocked on the door of Rumi. To his astonishment he was not turned away. He couldn’t understand why an inferior sheikh rejected him and a superior one did not. He spoke to Rumi, now his master, about the disciple in Eskişehir and his refusal. “He is like a pearl,” said Rumi, “He cannot bear another grain of sand.” Later on, the same penitent Sufi visited the sheikh in Eskişehir and reminded him of their previous encounter. Speaking of Rumi, the sheikh said: “He is like an ocean; no grain of sand can sully him.”
Whenever I think about Turkey’s future, I think of a country in the image of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi: an allembracing one of oceanic inclusivity, which will never be sullied by the sins of any one man.
World capitals host not only the smartest of politicians and the kindest of diplomats; they are also home to the most abominable thieves and the most detestable villains. A palace is more than just a king’s home; it also includes beggars at the gates, court jesters, plotting conspirators, envoys from enemy kingdoms...
This is my vision for the future of Turkey: A world capital in which there is space for all, and consolation and justice for everyone; a good office to which anyone can turn and in which everyone can place their trust.