Never without the Ottoman spirit - YUSUF KAPLAN

Never without the Ottoman spirit

We first need to know that in this country, it is not the majority that dominates the minority but the wild minority that dominates the silent majority. This is going to end and that is why they cannot stand it.

The tutelage of secular/oligarchic institutes that take advantage of the situation, perpetrate coups and bring the people in line is going to end. This is the cause of all that noise.

The wild minority's sovereignty should come to an end. But nobody should feel excluded. If we can achieve this, nothing can stop us.

The German spirit, Hegel and Weimar Renaissance

Turkey is going through a rough patch. A challenging, long and tiring journey awaits us. But we should also never forget that in all difficult times, challenging times, communities seek a spirit that will overcome those difficulties. This is what the Germans did and this is what the Russian's did. Hegel sought after the spirit that would unite Germany, which was swarmed by hundreds of principalities and in shambles. Hence, he sanctified the state and idolized it.

Leibnitz and Kant had done the same thing. Both these thinkers had traced the search for a common “language” and spirit that would help Europe recover.

Hegel, who followed in Kant's footsteps, studied the “spirit of the people,” called “volkgeist” in German, the cultural and historical origins of this spirit.

German thinkers and artists eventually decided that the German spirit could be built through a radical German language, culture, thought and art.

This was the origin of the Weimar Renaissance. Germans managed to lay the building blocks of the spirit that would get them up on their feet by going on a journey from the past to the future in both Europe's intellectual history and the world's culture history.

They saw that the German spirit would come alive around a strong leader who would ensure a united Germany in terms of language and culture codes, who would ensure this unity and guarantee it and at least make European history. They brought Bismarck approximately a century after France's Napoleon Bonaparte.

The story of Weimar Renaissance is very exciting and mentally stimulating. That is all I will say here.

As for us, we should come to our senses. What are we going to do?

The spiritual origin of our civilization is based not on lineage but decorum

Germans' journey into inventing and building the German spirit is provocative. However, despite its scale and depth, it is far from universality and is a victim of extremism. You cannot build a universal spirit with a nation invention. Thus, all that journey and efforts eventually went down the drain with Fascism.

So, what are we going to do?

We first need to see that this country's spiritual roots do not consist of nation roots alone. This is a transnational spirit that exceeds national borders, joins all that is between the ground and sky and breeds on truth, hence it is universal in the true sense.

The most macro view developed by Western civilization, but which it shows the complex of calling is “universal” is nation aligned: Everything is for the German nation, the French nation, et cetera.

In other words, in the West, essentially, everything is based on lineage, but with us, it is based on decorum.

This is why the West says, “You are my problem.” Hence, colonialism and imperialism are the products of Europe.

Yet, we say, “I am my problem.”

This is what gave the Ottoman Empire superiority over all civilizations that almost played a key role in making history. But unlike the West, it did not eliminate any of these civilizations; it bred on all of them and bred them all too.

What is the Ottoman spirit and what does it tell us?

So, how did the Ottomans achieve this?

It achieved it by gifting humanity the most developed civilization experience that built Dar al-Islam (the house of Islam), Dar as-Salaam (the house of peace) and Dar al-Insan (the house of humanity), that is yet to be overcome and understood and, as it is yet to be understood, that it could not be overcome is not yet understood.

Thus, Arnold Tonybee, one of the greatest history philosophers of our time, had said, “The Ottoman [Empire] is the future of humanity.”

Whenever I mention the Ottomans, certain shallow individuals object saying, “don't speak to us about the past.”

Those who have some knowledge of the philosophy of history know that the past, present and future are all relative. The past is in the past, but it has gifted a spirit and experience that will build the future.

It was his realization of this spirit and historical depth that made Tonybee see the Ottoman Empire as the future of humanity.

Turkey will be freed from its shackles

I don't need to say it, but I am obliged to say it because there is a frightening West complex in Turkey: While in pursuit of the German spirit, Hegel had found the roots of the founding spirit in the Ancient Greeks.

There is no need to give more examples.

We should know that history concerns the past, but it is involved in the future. History cannot be repeated. But the spirit that renders it possible to make history and was applied in history through breeding on revelation, always awaits to be discovered and to give rise to new conditions.

We have been fighting for a century to be freed of the “straitjackets over our minds.” Turkey is going to escape its shackles.

The Ottoman spirit that enabled 72 religions, races, nations to coexist, that gave us the opportunities to make world history in three continents, is going to rise from its ashes and light the way for humanity again.


I would like to stress that the past is in the past, it is over and done with. What really matters is the spirit.

Scholarly, enlightened and wise individuals are the inheritors of the prophets. If you are alive, the spirit is always alive and will revive you.


There are those who confuse spirit with valor. They are soulless people.

Valor kills, the spirit revives. The dead think the spirit call and gush is the outcry of valor.

Taking away dignity and appealing to executioners

Lastly, Turkey is in an ontological life and death struggle to find its orbit, to reach the roots of its spirit. This is the honorable fight to re-make at least the region's history at the turning point of history.

Keeping quiet, leaving post or intellectual rumination at a time of destruction, when the country is fighting for its perpetuity, will take away dignity.

Meanwhile, appealing to secularism, which has divided the community, provoked ethnic identities and eradicated the root of the Islamic spirit that has enabled the greatest common denominator of this community, making it possible to make history, is no different to appealing to shackles and from our executioners. You cannot build your own world through others' terms. You cannot even maintain your existence through them.

Never forget that the Ottoman Empire did not keep the 72 races, religions, nations standing in three continents through secularism. Islam is enough for us. It embraces all.

Why is it that Tonybee sees this and we don't?

It is because our minds are in shackles, isn't it?



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