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The Person Sought by Fethullah Hodja

by Arslan Bulut, Aksam on . Posted in Commentaries

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In recent years, Fethullah Gülen Hodja has been trying to give our society a message. If we think that society is trying to find a way out, that our people are searching again for tolerance, that they're waiting for a contemporary Yunus Emre, we will have explained just a little of why so much interest is directed toward Fethullah Hodja...

Anyway, reminding us that Prophet Abraham carried the value of a nation when he received revelation, Fethullah Hodja speaks of a person who, carrying the seed of a nation, appears and plays an instrumental role in transforming society and establishing an environment of tolerance. He hopes for this...

However, the meanings of words change, as does the insight of the human mind and heart. If the words acquire a negative meaning, humanity can go in a negative direction... Fethullah Hodja is seeking a person who will program humanity with words to show tolerance and love to each other, to protect nature, and to wrap Turkey, the Turkish world, and the whole world in a bright green countenance. He does not claim to be that person. He has no such egotism...

He describes a tableau that I, too, yearn for... In that tableau, he mentions intellectuals who see different ideas as a source of enrichment instead of conflict, who can brainstorm in an exchange of ideas devoted to unity and peace in Turkish society and the Turkish world. He says that intellectuals raised in this country can meet on a foundation of tolerance regardless of which idea they have...

One who burns his or her mouth on hot milk will blow on yogurt before eating it. Similarly, when the desired result was not immediately obtained after the last tolerance awards dinner, which led to a big uproar, Fethullah Hodja, without mentioning the meeting or its positive and negative effects, called on intellectuals to draw closer together, as if to say: "If I wasn't able to do it, you do it..."

Reminding him that a structure of economic interests surrounds groups of ideas, I asked how the different ideas of spokesmen for various interest groups could flow into one river. The Hodja stated that it would be difficult for such spokesmen to meet on the same foundation. However, they are a small minority. The majority of people welcome dialogue and tolerance in society. He added that a foundation for tolerance among intellectuals can be established, and that this duty falls directly on them.

Let me take this opportunity to state that I also want to see all intellectuals raised in this country approached with tolerance... I am ready to take any step to move this goal forward.

Arslan Bulut, Aksam daily, 1/14/96