"I will not Deny that a Religious Reactionary Exists in Turkey, but It is Being Over Exaggerated"
Is the purpose of a newspaper publishing a photograph of you and Mr. Tayyip [Erdogan] standing side by side intended to hurt the government, to hurt you, or both?
To me, it is the latter. There is no existing common action, style, relation, or closeness as such. I was also viewed as a proven criminal in some circles. They see it as such. There are things that they have been claiming and alleging for 40 years. All of these have been refuted. They paid for the damage. These [refuted allegations] were broadcast on television and published in newspapers in Turkey; but, they were not satisfied. They built their lives around hatred and grudges. They believe that without hatred or grudges, they cannot carry on their existence. I have always acted courteously and offered opportunities for dialogue. I even requested appointments from those with whom I was struggling. At first, they said 'yes,' but then, they said: "Do not let him come. Everything has been contorted in the newspaper." I on the other hand, embraced everyone, shook hands with everyone. I have not had bad thoughts about anyone. On the contrary, because of my thoughts on goodness and my polite manners, I was questioned and incurred the anger of some of my close friends.
For example, for 40 years, I have yet to understand how a person can attack me in the worst way, slander me, lie to me and say, "we know him", all without ever having come face to face with me. I have not said, "This man is paranoid." I have not said that there is evidence proving that this person went up to a hotel roof and dumped excrement on top of people. I have not said, "He was in a mental hospital." I have not said that it is in the police records that he denounced a friend of his because his friend became a Communist. These things are contrary to my nature. These are inappropriate. However, no matter how appropriately I speak, everyone shows his/her true character. They behaved like themselves.
That they behaved like themselves does not hinder me from behaving as myself. I will always think and see whatever I believe, respect humans, avoid lies, and see slander as being equal to qufr. But, I will not hesitate to use my legitimate rights in legal issues as well. Lawyers will file lawsuits of elucidation, rectification, or perhaps they will even file a suit of indemnification; all these will be realized, and have happened thus far. They will happen again.
In your opinion, does this person act by himself? Or is there another organization?
At first, he was acting by himself, with his feelings: however, I think, now, there is a group. They have been reinforced from some places. Behind them, there are the ones, who want this to happen as such. I think, if you were to ask them, this is evil according to their criteria, their world of thought, and their philosophy of life; all those are evil. Two wrongs don't make a right. During the June trial, they were looking to totally finish the job. This is the requirement of their attitude against religion. Behind this, there is enmity against religion. I do not say, "There is no religious reactionary". There is, but it is not as much as they exaggerate. However, in Turkey, a great fuss is made over the religious reactionary, making the reactionary appear bigger, more terrible, and more shuddering. There are the ones who use the religious reactionary to create paranoia in others.
What is this religious reactionary you mention?
Irtica [religious reactionary] is an Arabic word. It means taking people backward. I have not seen a person among the people of Turkey today who wants to take Turkey back to the Middle Ages. I have not seen him even in the villages. Everyone likes education and learning. Everyone likes to explore. Even ordinary people, villagers, applaud and praise the secondary school and high school students participating in Olympics. We have a complex; we cannot pursue science, cannot develop technology. A renaissance does not occur in our country. But these children shattered our feelings and thoughts [about this complex]. Villagers say this, as do city-dwellers. If the thing that they call religious reactionary is referring to people covering their heads, then this has existed since the olden days. This was around during the Ataturk Era, and during the Ismet Pasha Era as well. But, people became educated. It used to be that people questioned why women were not educated. Now, they are educated. Some cover their heads. They started to mention turban. On that subject, I stated my personal thoughts. If a person takes her headscarf off, she does not become an unbeliever. This subject belongs to furuat [secondary methods of jurisprudence]. That is not like the conditions of Amentu [basic principles of belief]. It is not the same as not accepting the basic tenets of Islam. I am of the opinion that it soothed people during the most critical period in which the nervousness was high. But, there is a main section and nothing calms them down.
Besides, I believe they are becoming more marginalized every day. This makes them a little more ill-tempered. As they decrease in number, they begin to talk more nonsense. People do not think like them. Muslims think about being European, going neck in neck with the world. But, this is not their concern. They are even offended with the [head coverings] of the believers. This is obvious now.
Would you say the religious reactionary you are speaking of is from within the Muslim segment or does it come from without?
Yes, there is religious reactionary. Perhaps, among Muslims, there are some who think so. I would not know this. An inquiry needs to be taken in the mosques. How many people say, 'Please, let's not be together with Europe.' "Contemporary Civilization," [Mustafa Kemal] Ataturk had said. Now, there would not be any one among those who go to those mosques who would say, "Let's not be so, let's not be contemporary, it was better the way it used to be." Muslims rather characterize themselves at the mosques. They pray and come together there. To me, there are people who can digest the developments if they belong to themselves; but if others make those developments they cannot digest. And I say this with no hesitation at all: I believe that if believers lay a ladder to Heaven, some Muslims who have the desire to enter Heaven will not enter Heaven since the ladder is built by those believers. That is, these people are that much stubborn.
'To allow taqiyye is akin to taking a soft look at terror'
In one of your pep talks, you said that in the Sunni belief taqiyye does not exist, but in the Shiite belief it does.
As a matter of fact, it should not exist in the Shiite belief either. With its meaning of this time, taqiyye means deception, to be seen different than it really is, to deceive others. For example, in an argument, you think one thing but say another. This is called taqiyye. Our Master (peace be upon him) forbade deceiving people. He commands in original: "Men gassena feleyse minna." "To deceive is not our place." Therefore, in Islamic thought, taqiyye has no place. However, in the Shiite tradition, there is a statement that has been passed down, "If you do not deceive those who are not one of your own, you cannot be a Shiite, a Muslim." Take into consideration that this statement is attributed to Imam Caferi Sadik, but this statement comes from an unreliable source. Imam Cafer is a very important imam for them. He is of Ehl-i Beyt [the Prophet's immediate family i.e, the Prophet Muhammed, The Caliph Ali, Fatma, Hasan, Huseyin and also the descendants from this lineage]. He was older than Ebu Hanife but still a contemporary of Ebu Hanife. It was even said that he married the mother of Ebu Hanife; thus, Ebu Hanife was his child for a while and Imam Cafer learned many things from him. It is unlikely that an imam would make such a statement.
Recently, this aspect of the Shiite tradition has started to be used for all Muslims. If a person is a genuine Muslim, he does not deceive others. He is seen as he is. He may not say everything, but everything that he says is true. Bediuzzaman [Said Nursi] says, "Everything you say must be right. However, saying every right thing is not right." If this is taqiyye, then everyone makes taqiyye. For example, to call a blind judge blind is correct, but, to say it is not right. For example, a man at the top of the state could be insufficient in that he does not represent his position enough. This is true, I mean. But who knows, to say this truth is not right.
As a strategy of war...
As the special rules of war... In different fields, war has special rules such as to strategically deceive the enemy, to mislead him, to make a decoyed deployment. There are some things in the event of a war that they are not allowed in normal conditions. Taqiyye cannot be allowed. To allow taqiyye is akin to taking a soft look at terror. A Muslim must not deceive any one. A Muslim must not be a deceiver; rather he must be one who inspires trust.
'I am more interested in the music of dervish lodge'
Do you sing an Erzurum folk song when you feel down?
There are some folk songs that I know of through having heard them. It is not that I am curious about them. I am more interested in Classical Turkish music, in particular the music of the dervish lodge. There are times I listen to them. It is rather like mumbling. Sometimes they are of Niyazi-i Misri, Yunus Emre, Imam of Alvar, maybe one of Fuzuli, Seyyid Nigari or perhaps Galip. To me, they are deeper. As of my world of feelings, nowadays, I am more inclined to say," sohbet-i canan," [talks of Beloved]. "To make everything bound to Him, since everything is bound to Him, let me bind to Him as well," I say. Kind of knowingly and willfully, I stay away from some things.
As if you make many things haram to yourself that Allah makes halal [permisible in Koran].
I do not say, "haram" [forbidden for Muslims]. I only prefer to get busy with the things looking at my Rab [Divine Master] and I find them more beautiful in myself, my heart, my spirit.
'There were high-ranking soldiers that came to visit'
Are there any from the military who were curious about your life and requested to meet you with either good or bad intentions?
No one came to me with ill-intentions. A few retired people, whom I know from old times, came. I will not give their names. They only had a meal.
Were they high-ranking?
There were some of pretty high rank; but not many, just a few. These are sincere and decent people. They came for a visit. They stayed several hours and left. They did not have any other considerations.
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