When I go to places of chaos, crisis and suffering, I encounter hope and longing. When I return to Turkey I feel sorrow, anger and grief. I will explain what I mean.
A statement President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made when he met imam-hatip students took me back to the days that turned from hope to sorrow: “Turkey is the hope of the Muslim world.”
The Muslim world, including my own country, flashed before my eyes. I remembered how the people of these Muslim countries looked at us in hope, love and longing. When I came to Turkey and realized that selfish people were not aware of this pain and longing I felt anger and sorrow.
Turkey really is the hope of the Muslim world, but do people in Turkey know this? If they do know, have they forgotten?
I sometimes want to introduce the people I come across to the people of my country. I believe while one feels disappointment, the other will feel shame during this encounter.
If we were to compare
While under Serbian fire a Bosnian commander once told me, “We became Muslim through the Turks. You either had to stay, or you should not have left us behind.” Now being oppressed under the Dayton agreement, this commander is waiting for the day Turkey will help them. What would happen if we brought this commander side by side with a diplomat in Ankara who would do anything to be promoted?
What would happen if we brought an Albanian Muslim from Kosovo to Turkey and introduced him to a fake religious leader in a frock claiming that he could take everyone to heaven?
What would happen if we introduced the Palestinian man who said, “Will Turkey do something about this?” while Israel bombarded Gaza, to the journalist who forgot the Palestinian issue and saw it as a chore?
How about if we introduced the Syrian father (who lost his son) sitting in front of a stand with a big Turkish flag on it saying “The greatest of pains is the pain of losing your child,” to the bureaucrat who was trying to save his seat?
What if a politician came across a Kurdish father who lost his house because of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in southeastern Sur or Cizre districts, or a veteran security officer who lost his friend?
Turkey has withdrawn into itself again
When I asked a Malaysian political science professor, “How will the Muslim world overcome the crisis it is in?” he said, “We are waiting for Istanbul to do something. Only the intellectuals in the capital city can solve this issue.”
What would happen if we brought that professor down to Turkey and confronted him with the deans, chancellors, professors and politicians in Turkey?
I came across many other sorrowful expectations and beckoning eyes. They were all facing Turkey, but Turkey was withdrawn. This was their disappointment and our shame.
We criticized the narrow-minded people who turned their faces toward the West and couldn't understand hope or did not care about the land our ancestors left behind for us. We said that they did not understand the Muslim world, Turkey's realities and the changing world.
AK Party members who don't understand AK Party
How about those who disregarded hope despite knowing what it was? Or those who are interested in their personal interests although they are aware of those people who are hopeful and excited about the light Erdoğan turned on, just like his ancestors?
The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has come to a point in which it has become Turkey's spine and the Muslim world's hope. This has nearly happened for the first time in the last century. Some AK Party members do not understand this at all, or do not want to.
The discussions, fights and rumors in Ankara frustrate us. We do not know how much of it is true and how much isn't, everything is jumbled.
There is a reality we know:
The reality that Turkey is the hope of the Muslim world burdens the shoulders of AK Party members. It will be a shame if they fail to fulfill these responsibilities.
Let us not forget that the curses of the oppressed who count on us are just as powerful as their prayers.