#AceNewsReport – June.13: A prominent member of Turkey’s highest Islamic institution, the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), stated that children who read the Turkish translation of the Koran “start gravitating towards” atheism and deism, a belief in a non-interventionist creator:
The statement was made by Professor Cağfer Karadaş during an interview with the pro-government newspaper Yeni Şafak on June.05: ” The main arguments of atheists and deists are not philosophical today but are based on translations of the Koran,” Karadaş claimed. “The translations do not present [information on] the context. I think that a common work by the Diyanet and theology departments on this subject would be very appropriate and reverse the wind…………….” Religious culture teachers ask the Diyanet for free translations of the Koran and distribute them to students,” continued Karadaş. “When the students start reading [the Koran] and have trouble making sense out of it, they get confused and they can turn to these trends [atheism or deism]. I think that this is our most fundamental problem right now.”
Many others have also publicly addressed this same issue:
In a radio interview in July 2019, Temel Karamollaoğlu — the head of Turkey’s Islamist opposition party, Felicity — accused President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of driving young people away from Islam and towards deism. He said this was particularly true for youth from religious families.
In April 2018, participants gathered for a “Youth and Faith” workshop organized by the Konya Provincial Directorate of Education in the presence of 50 Islamic Imam Hatip school teachers. The workshop reportedly concluded that many students in those schools are leaning towards deism due to religious instruction inconsistencies…………..Following the workshop, Erdoğan reportedly reprimanded Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz during an AKP assembly on the spread of deism at state schools. In response, Yilmaz denigrated the workshop and denied that deism was on the rise.
The head of the Diyanet, Ali Erbaş, also rejected the allegations: ” None of the members of our nation would ever give credence to such a perverted, superstitious mentality,” he said. “Let no one slander our nation and our youths.”
In fact, Islam is the newest religion in Turkey, historically referred to as Asia Minor: Most inhabitants of that land were Christians: Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians. The land was ruled by the Greek-speaking Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire and had sizable Jewish communities. But the country underwent a process of Islamization following the Turkish invasion in the 11th century.
Today, only 0.1 percent of Turkey’s population is either Christian or Jewish: This is not only the result of massacres, pogroms and genocide. Turks’ systematic religious persecution has resulted in the conversions of many Christians into Islam throughout centuries………………………….
Historian Dr. Vasileios Meichanetsidis shed some light on this issue in his article entitled Turkey’s No Longer Best-Kept Secret: Islamized Christians. “Many Turkish citizens are descendants of forcibly Islamized Christians,” he wrote: ” The local Muslim derebeys (valley lords) and the Ottoman state and army, via periodic acts of violence, special taxation (jizya), social segregation, systematic mistreatment and humiliation inexorably pushed the Christian population to Islamization for the sake of survival.”
He continued: “The Ottoman Empire lasted for some 600 years — from 1299 to 1923 — and included parts of Asia, Europe and Africa. During this period, the Turks engaged in practices such as: the ghulam system, in which non-Muslims were enslaved, converted and trained to become warriors and statesmen; the devshirme system, the forced recruitment of Christian boys taken from their families, converted to Islam and enslaved for service to the sultan in his palace and to join his janissaries (‘new corps’); compulsory and voluntary Islamization — the latter resulting from social, religious and economic pressure; and the sexual slavery of women and young boys, deportation and massacre.”
During the 1914-23 Christian genocide in Ottoman Turkey, innumerable Christian women and young girls were abducted and forcibly Islamised: This had impact upon the Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek Christian communities.
Turkish author Ahmet Altan also discussed the issue of Turks having Christian ancestors in an op-ed in 2012. He wrote: ” Do you know that the grandfathers of almost all of our caliphs and sultans that we call ‘our ancestors’ were Christian and some were priests, don’t you?
“The Ottoman Empire was established in 1299: The Turks came to Anatolia in 1071. How many Turks came to Anatolia with [commander] Alp-Arslan? Let’s skip the question ‘who are the Turks’ and ask another question: Are the 70 million people who we call Turks today full-blooded children of ‘Turks’ who came here with Alp-Arslan? Or are we the common children of Turks who arrived [in Anatolia] as well as of Byzantines, Armenians, Anatolian Greeks, Kurds who lived in Anatolia at the time?” he asked.
“Then how come our ancestors only consist of Turks and Muslims? Are Byzantines not among our ancestors as well? And how come saying ‘prostitute Byzantine’ is not considered an insult to our ancestors? Because we fabricate history. We write a Turkish and Muslim history for us. We ignore all the peoples of Anatolia and the huge Byzantine – as if life had started with the army of Alp-Arsan in Anatolia.”
In 2016, Altan was arrested for sending “subliminal messages” that allegedly encouraged the Turkish coup attempt planners, and remains in jail: Ironically, in a country where critical thinking “unofficially” constitutes a crime, many Turkish children and youths learn the truths about Islam from its very scripture: the Koran. It is not shocking that many decide to alienate themselves from this religion. “The Quran contains at least 109 verses that speak of war with nonbelievers, usually on the basis of their status as non-Muslims,” reports the website The Religion of Peace.
Apparently, verses such as “Seize them [nonbelievers] and slay them wherever you find them” (Quran 4:89) do not appeal to souls that seek a peaceful, loving relationship with their creator: However, it is not easy for Muslim Turks to learn about and reconnect with the faith of their ancestors. After all, the country’s entire Christian community remains under severe pressure.
Since Turkey transitioned to the multi-party system in 1950, the country has maintained a failed story of “democratization.” That same year, Turkey joined the Council of Europe: Two years later, the country joined NATO. Moreover, Turkey’s negotiations for full European Union membership were started in 2005. The result: An Islamist AKP government led by Erdogan.
The West’s several efforts for helping “democratise” Turkey appear to have failed: Perhaps the true path to liberation and democratization lies with Turks returning to their Christian or Jewish roots.
‘ Uzay Bulut is a Turkish journalist and political analyst formerly based in Ankara ‘
#AceNewsDesk report ………………Published: June.13: 2020: