© Copyright text by ex MP Faik Tunay @FaikTUNAY
© Copyright photo by Levent Ağaoğlu
With its simplest geographical definition, Anatolia, or Asia Minor, is a mountainous peninsula that covers an area of approximately 755,000 km² between the Black Sea, Mediterranean and Aegean Seas in the westernmost part of the Asian continent. How many of us know Anatolia, which means the place where the sun rises in Greek, with its real values?
According to the truth accepted by the world of science and people today, there was a big bang about 14 billion years ago and the universe came into being. Pay attention, I say 14 billion years ago, if you accept an average human lifespan of 75 years, you will better understand what is going on. Well, this system was formed 14 billion years ago, and when did the first human appear, which was about 300,000 years ago (it was pulled back even further with the latest excavations in Africa) But we would like to emphasize that these shared figures are the information shared with the whole world public opinion as a result of the studies carried out by the scientific world, the emergence of the first human being related to our religious belief is beyond the scope of this article.
According to the acceptance of the scientific world, there have been human beings on Earth for 300,000 years, they have gone everywhere, they have made every place their home, and according to the reality accepted by everyone in the world today, 150 major civilizations were formed on Earth during these 300,000 years (beware, not every state is a civilization! Civilization criteria is very different, otherwise if we accepted every established states and statelets as civilizations, then there would be thousands of civilizations)
More than 30 of these 150 established civilizations were established in ANATOLIA.
Look at the wealth of this tiny peninsula, what kind of abundance is this?
How is this a collection?
As a society, we always start everything with 1071 because we came to Anatolia at that time. So, who was in these lands before 1071? What did they do? Do we ever talk? Never! What was there in Anatolia before 1071?
For example, how many of us know Şanlıurfa Göbekli Tepe today, know the civilization that was established there about 12,000 years ago?
Come on, how many of us have heard or know about Konya Çatalhöyük, which is considered the oldest settlement in the world before Göbekli Tepe (ie before Göbekli Tepe was found)?
Come on, how many of us know that the first revolution in the world legal system was made by the Hittites, who ruled in Çorum? Until then, the criterion was the Code of Hammurabi, that is, if a person cut the other’s hand, then the other has the same right to cut his hand, so we call it retaliation. So, what are the Hittites doing? They pass to the law of compensation, that is, fines appear, other types of payment are there, and there is even public service, you know. In Europe and in our country, we sometimes hear that criminals clean the streets in return for their punishment, look after the elderly in nursing homes. This is what the Hittites living in these lands did about 3500 years ago.
Let’s move on to face the facts.
How many of us know that money was found in Anatolia for the first time in the world?
Or do we know that the check was first used in Anatolia?
How many of us know that the foundations of Christianity were laid in Anatolia today?
The most important person for Christians after Jesus Christ is St. Paul, and how many of us know that he was actually born in Tarsus, Mersin?
Let’s keep pushing the minds today, in the Bible, the holy book of Christians, seven churches are mentioned and these churches are of vital importance for Christians. Now hold on tight, all of these seven churches are in Anatolia. 3 of them are in İzmir, 3 of them are in Manisa and the last one is in Denizli.
Why don’t we expose them?
Why don’t we open them to tourism?
Why don’t we use them and earn billions of dollars and contribute to our economy?
Is it very difficult to do them or are we afraid?
Is someone somehow asking us not to trust ourselves?
Tourism is not just about sunbathing by the sea and swimming in the sea, why don’t we use alternative tourism types when we have so many opportunities?
Alhamdulillah, these lands have been Muslims for thousands of years.
Using places that belong to Christians and that are sacred to them for tourism purposes will not harm us, it will not lead us astray, it cannot turn us away, but tourism revenues increase, job opportunities open to people, and contribute to the promotion of the country. A scared person cannot be successful, a scared person cannot be a visionary, a scared person cannot make a breakthrough, if we simply find the above-mentioned places and come out. If we are open to tourism just for a visit, make sure that hundreds of millions of dollars of money enter the country’s coffers every year.
How many of us know that Santa Claus, one of the most important persons for Christians today, is actually a priest from Antalya Demre? Today, while the Finns, Russians, Danes or others are tearing up with false documents to prove that Santa Claus is one of them, we come out and say that this is Anatolia, every religion has existed here, there is tolerance here. Why do you think we can’t use them? Anatolia is so important to the West that throughout history, while we were sleeping, they always searched this place, not only did they search it, they almost plundered the historical monuments.
In the 1870s, an association called Dilattanti was established in England, the aim of this association was to examine Anatolia and smuggle historical artifacts out of Anatolia! We are busy sleeping! How many of us know that Pergamon Zeus Sumac, one of the rarest works of Anatolia, was abducted and taken to Berlin? How far do you think a nation that does not own its history and historical artifacts can progress?
The Pergamon Altar of Zeus is a monumental religious building made of marble, built in the 2nd century BC in the ancient city of Pergamon, north of Izmir, in North West Anatolia, by the Attalos dynasty, which ruled the Pergamon Kingdom. It is 35.64 m wide and 33.4 m deep. The stairs at the front of the building are 20 meters wide. Now, I’m sure you’re saying how can such a gigantic artifact be smuggled out of Turkey and tolerated. Every year 1,000,000 people come to see this work in the museum in Berlin.
Anatolia’s most beautiful expression throughout history has been “multiplicity in unity”, as it is said today, we are Turkey all together, including Sunnis, Alevis, Turks, Kurds, Laz, Bosnians, Circassians. We are Anatolia together, this is how it has been throughout history, in other words, the culture of living together in brotherhood is in the genes of Anatolia.
Dozens of different nations have always lived together in Anatolia, which is why TOLERANCE, LOVE and DIALOGUE are concepts unique to Anatolia. Who has come and passed through these lands for thousands of years? Life in Anatolia does not start with 1071, yes, another door was opened in Anatolia with 1071, but before that, Phrygians, Urartians, Cappadocians, Lydians, Ionians, Carians have always existed in this geography and have made countless innovations. Why aren’t they taught in our textbooks?
While Anatolia was a treasure before 1071, is the situation much different after 1071?
Let’s take a look at the aftermath of 1071. There are institutions of great importance for Anatolia to become an Islamic homeland after 1071. Ahilik, Seymenlik, Yarenlik, Zeybeklik are some of them. All of these institutions are almost schools, they are a way of life. How many of our children and young people who study in schools today know these? All of these are real public organizations, they all have opinion leaders. While Ahilik is a trade-based organization, Yârenlik is more concerned with how people should live, that is, it is more about social life. Ahilik, Yarenlik, Seymenlik and Zeybeklik, they all have the understanding of LOVE, BROTHERHOOD, TOLERANCE.
These are the characteristics unique to Anatolia that have existed in Anatolia for thousands of years, even before Islam.
The girl learns how to cook from the mother, the boy learns from the father, chatting and talking, how deep is the meaning of the saying, which is unique to Anatolia, is hidden in this word, that is why today there is still coffee culture all over Anatolia. Even the rebellions of Anatolia are different. Even the rebellions of Anatolia are different, the common feature of all the rebellions in Anatolia for thousands of years throughout history is the thought of “do not interfere with my life”. No rebellion has the goal of overthrowing the current government.
We don’t read, we don’t know, and unfortunately, we only act with prowess. Many of us envy the Ottoman Empire, but we know nothing but the mehter march.
How many of us really know what Fatih Sultan Mehmet Khan did, who conquered Istanbul, which is the subject of the hadith of our Prophet (SAV)?
How many people know his vision, his difference?
Unfortunately, our knowledge of the Conqueror consists only of entering the walls on horseback and praying in Hagia Sophia.
- I wonder how many people know that the first known environmental edict, the law, was enacted by Mehmet the Conqueror?
- How many of us know that after the conquest of Istanbul, the Chief Rabbinate, which is the most powerful institution of the Jews even today, and the patriarchate, which is the center of the Orthodox Christians, were founded, protected and watched over by Fatih himself?
- How many of us know that Fatih Sultan Mehmet was the first person to find and use the bombing technique in the world?
- How many of us know that he speaks Latin, Arabic, Serbian, Italian and is even proficient in foreign languages to translate books?
- How many of us know that, after conquering Bosnia, he issued an edict protecting the Franciscan Christians who persecuted the Bosnians, who were members of the BOGOMIL CHURCH, before they became Muslims, and allowed them to live side by side with Muslims in Bosnia, and that he had a deep tolerance?
- How many of us know that at that time when painting was considered a sin, he brought the painter Bellini from Italy (Venice) and had his portrait painted?
Fatih Sultan Mehmet is not easy to come by, it is necessary to read, to be knowledgeable, to be visionary, most importantly, to have a wide tolerance, and to accept that differences are truly the greatest wealth.
Like every leader who grew up in these lands, Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk started the War of Independence with this understanding and spirit and received the full support of Anatolia and made up the history. Do you think it’s a coincidence that he took the first step from Samsun in the heart of Anatolia and planned everything in Amasya, Sivas and Erzurum? Alevi, Sunni, Turkish, Kurdish, Laz, Circassian, Bosnian, in short, everyone has won the war shoulder to shoulder. In fact, Atatürk grasped the spirit of solidarity and brotherhood that Anatolia has had for thousands of years, made all his plans based on them, and succeeded with his nation. Is there any other nation in history that won a war against seven heifers with scarce means?
This nation is ANATOLIA.
The examples and information shared above are just a few of the thousands of examples unique to Anatolia. If we pay attention, the common feature of states and people with different beliefs and views, which are thousands of years apart from each other, is TOLERANCE, LOVE AND DIALOGUE.
These three features are only found in Anatolia in the world. Throughout history, Turks have established and destroyed states, but they have always survived. Destroying 15 states and having the 16th state today is actually a great success.
While the Turks were establishing these states, Sunni, Alevi, non-Muslim, Kurdish, Laz, Circassian, Bosnian, they established together shoulder to shoulder, none of them has the right to establish superiority over the other, nor should they.
Just as Allah Almighty has stated in our holy book, the Holy Book of the Qur’an, in Surah Hucurat, no race has any superiority over the other, the most beautiful geography where this verse is lived is ANATOLIA.
Do not forget the essence of Anatolia: It is plurality in unity, just like the pomegranate fruit. The pomegranate fruit is a single piece on the outside, but consists of hundreds of dissimilar seeds inside, just like this in Anatolia.