In one country’s city. In one of that city’s squares... a place of worship was constructed.
The project was designed, its foundations were laid and walls started to go up.
It was meticulously completed.
The day then comes for it to open its doors.
What business is it of yours?
Whether it’s a church or a synagogue?
A mosque or a Buddhist temple.
Or something else entirely.
Whatever that country requires.
It’s of no one’s concern. Absolutely no one’s.
Yet that’s not how things are.
When that country in question is Turkey, that city is Istanbul, and that square is Taksim, then everyone has to give their two cents.
Almost everyone then gives themselves the right to object.
The Americans, Germans, British and French.
The Dutch, the Israelis and the Greeks...
When we say what business is it of yours, they act as if we committed an act of blasphemy!
And all the dogs inside, whether leashed or not, are then unleashed on us.
They start to drool, show their teeth, and get ready to pounce.
They come at us from far and wide...
As if we went all the way there and built a mosque in one of their biggest cities’ squares.
As if we forced their hands in order to build these mosques.
As if we had gone to Paris, and turned the Eiffel Tower into a minaret.
If we had built a majestic mosque right next to it, complete with a dome made of steel, they would be justified in this kind of reaction.
No no, worry not.
We have no intention of doing anything of the sort.
You can keep your Eiffel.
That’s why we stress which year we’re in in relation to 1453; we calculate how many years Istanbul has been ours.
Not just us, those nutters who object to every development are also doing the math.
They’re even more aware than we are how much time has passed, down to the year and month.
You can ask those who have their eye on Istanbul (and are waiting at the ready for the first opportunity to occupy it) how many hours and months have passed since.
Yet we always make sure to repeat that math during the Conquest celebrations.
Is it necessary to keep stressing which anniversary it is?
No one can keep this city from us any longer.
Be it after a hundred more years or a millennium.
God willing, we’re here until the end of days.
We’re aware of our independence and we will choose how we act and when.
Let us refresh your memory...
We reopened Hagia Sophia, the symbol of conquest, to Muslim worship.
And all that was left for today was to build a mosque in Taksim.
We proved yet again that we’re completely independent.
Even if it’s too much for the pitbulls to stomach.