Oceanic in­clu­siv­ity and all-em­brac­ing Turkey

Turkish Review - - FOREWORD - Ed­i­tor-in-Chief Kerim Balcý

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.

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