Turkish Renaissance

A word can stop a war
A word can cause your head to be cut off
A word can make poisonous food
Into butter and honey.

This is the prescription for dialogue put forward by Yunus Emre, this region's and this tradition's great man. At any rate, dialogue is a necessity of this age. It is essential. It is the preface of the Information Age.

At the National Reconciliation awards ceremony organized by the Journalists' and Writers' Foundation, we saw one more time how thirsty we are for dialogue as a country and society.

Cracks begin at the point where communication channels are blocked. In a person's body the same thing will lead to a crisis and take life away.

Since we are talking about the Information Age, dialogue should be our constitution. In an environment in which all science knowledge accummulated since the beginning of time can be communicated from one place to another in less than a second, you cannot not exist with your old paradigm. You have to open your ears and eyes. You have to comprehend information coming from outside with as little distortion as possible. However, more important than this and in order to perceive the world outside yourself, you have to establish a dialogue with it and become harmonious with it.

The results of the World Index of Intolerance unfortunately do not say good things (about us). In the index, we are in a bad way in the order of "intolerance to neighbors" percentages. A list of descriptions is given regarding neighbors like "sick, addicted to drugs, from another religion, from another sect, sentenced to imprisonment and of a different ideology" and then the question is asked: "To what degree are you intolerant of such people?"

If you subtract the Intolerance coefficient from 100, you reach the Tolerance Index. This index in Turkey, when calculated as above, is under 10%. Result: we're at the peak of intolerance.

There is an amazing similarity between the intolerance index and the inflation rate. What really amazed me is the correlation between the tolerance index and the knowledge index. The below-10% tolerance figure is almost exactly the same as the knowledge index.

Tolerance, dialogue, and social harmony… Is it not time for us to include these in our lives? The answer to this question came yesterday from Nevval Sevindi, who received an award at the Reconciliation Night. In her thank-you speech, she said:

Waiting at the threshold, we have remained in the shadow of the West's Age of Awakening. We missed the Renaissance, and come today to an age that presents this opportunity once again. The mortar of a Turkish renaissance is knowledge. This will not turn only the fate of our economy but, at the same time, will make us the master of the global village. Dialogue will bring harmony, and harmony will bring success. As a result of this success, I see not only a Turkish renaissance but also a Turkey as the master of the Information Society.

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