Harun Yahya: Turmoil in Middle East Cannot Affect Iran-Turkey Friendly Ties
TEHRAN (FNA)- A world-renowned Turkish Muslim scholar says that Iran and Turkey are two major countries in the Middle East and should establish an Islamic alliance to serve as a role model for all the Muslim nations of the world.
According to Harun Yahya, the friendly and amicable relations between Iran and Turkey have always been robust and dynamic and nothing can negatively affect these relations.
“The turmoil and civil conflict in the Middle East have never affected the friendship of these two countries, which from time to time have different points of view. This is how it’s supposed to be. For years, it is well-known by all that I have called for the importance of an alliance between Turkey and Iran to bring a solution to the current problems of the Middle East… Thus Iran and Turkey must become strong allies and this alliance must be based on unconditional love as commanded by our religion,” said Harun Yahya in an exclusive interview with Fars News Agency.
Harun Yahya, whose original name is Adnan Oktar, is a Muslim Turkish author, intellectual and public speaker. A prolific writer, he has published more than 200 books translated into several languages. Yahya is referred to as the “biggest propagator of ijaz literature.” His famous book, Atlas of Creation, has been widely distributed across the world and drawn international reactions, both in commendation and criticism.
Yahya is an advocate of Creationism theory and through his extensive writings has refuted and rejected Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. He is the president of the Science Research Foundation which was established in 1990. He is a prominent anti-Zionist author and has given hundreds of interviews to newspapers, websites, TV and radio channels in countries across the globe on different social, cultural and political subjects.
FNA has conducted an interview with Mr. Yahya and asked him questions about the election of Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s president, Iran’s foreign policy and Iran-Turkey relations. What follows is the text of the interview.
Q: What do you think about the approach taken by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in terms of the country’s foreign relations? He is seen as a moderate politician who intends to improve Iran’s ties with the world countries and alleviate the concerns of the international community over Iran’s nuclear program. What do you think about him?
A: It was really important that the new President Rouhani stated that he is against all sorts of extremism and gave the message of a more moderate understanding, during his oath-taking ceremony. These explanations were conspicuous and heavily supported by messages of unity and his friendly attitude as well as his statements that the Torah, the Gospel and the Qur’an have common values. Adopting a moderate understanding and protecting values like art, science and women are important for Muslim countries.
Mr. Rouhani’s recent explanations as to removing the pressure on artists were also very remarkable. The moderate and compassionate messages he is sending to the world are spectacular. It seems that with the presidency of Rouhani, Iran has entered into a striking atmosphere of change. This is what both Iran and the whole world needed.
Actually all problems would inevitably end, when other countries believe in the sincerity of this spirit of “love, brotherhood and peace” in the policies implemented by Iran. Therefore, it is utterly important that Iran repeatedly and substantially states that she is against killing people regardless of the method used whether nuclear, chemical or conventional weapons. If you recall, Ayatollah Khamenei mentioned this and it was very effective. Repeatedly stating that it is religiously forbidden (haram) to use nuclear weapons according to Islam would help Iran’s position and image in the eyes of other countries and help ease any worries they may have about Iran. It is crucial that this is explained and the West is persuaded about its reality.
Islam is like water that puts out terror. Islam is water and terror is fire. Could water fan the flames? Water puts out the flames. Therefore it’s significant to explain that values such as love, compassion, mercy, respect, deep thinking, sincerity and a spirit of charity are in the essence of Islam. If the world believes that Rouhani’s compassionate and loving approach is the official state policy, then this unneeded hostility would disappear.
Q: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has just been to Turkey and held meetings with high-ranking Turkish officials including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. How do you see the future of Iran-Turkey relations, especially given the promise made by the two country’s officials to boost the mutual trade to $50 billion by the year 2017?
A: Turkey and Iran are the two big and very important powers of the Middle East. By Allah’s leave, Turkey and Iran will become the first two countries of the Islamic Union, we await this very much. We share the same history and the same geography with Iran. We have always had perfect relations.
The turmoil and civil conflict in the Middle East have never affected the friendship of these two countries, which from time to time have different points of view. This is how it’s supposed to be. For years, it is well-known by all that I have called for the importance of an alliance between Turkey and Iran to bring a solution to the current problems of the Middle East. The alliance of these two powerful countries based on love would constitute an important spiritual power in the Middle East and with the support of other states such as Syria, Iraq and Egypt, this alliance would bring solutions to countries having serious problems now. Thus, Iran and Turkey must become strong allies and this alliance must be based on unconditional love as commanded by our religion.
Mr. Rouhani and Mr. Zarif are two enlightened and foresighted people who can take serious steps about this matter. With regard to Syria, Turkey’s offer to Iran saying “Let’s find a solution together” is also very important. Muslims must solve this problem of persecution that is taking place in another Muslim country together. I think that especially an alliance between Turkey and Iran would be very effective.
You know that despite the embargo, Turkey is the only country that can trade with Iran. Insha’Allah, I pray that this embargo be lifted shortly and the Iranian people can take a deep breath. An Iran that grows commercially and economically is a matter of pride for us as well. We want Turkey to economically grow and prosper, but we have always aimed that we grow with other Muslim countries. Therefore I believe that these trade agreements are very important and valuable. This is also a sign of our improving friendship.
Q: What do you think about the possible reconciliation and rapprochement between Iran and the United States? Iranian people remember the bitter memories of the US interventions in their country’s internal affairs; however, some analysts in the world believe that chances have now emerged that the acrimony of the past can be forgotten. How can the United States defuse the tensions with Iran and win the confidence of the Iranian people?
A: It’s best to leave what happened in the past in the past. Before, America was ruled by some understandings and ideologies that had scary plans concerning the Middle East. It would be wrong to attribute their mistakes to new governments and think that this point of view will never change.
However, when we make a general evaluation we can see that America’s government and the American people have a different understanding than before. President Obama, who has adopted a policy of retrieving from the Middle East, is a very reasonable leader in comparison to some other American leaders of the past. It would be fitting to find the new Iranian policy of the US, which is now moving in a peaceful direction, trying to cope with the difficulties of the economic crisis and willing to retrieve its troops from the Middle East, as favorable.
Some circles in the US were mistaken when they thought that a policy of “bringing to a line” would be effective. However, education was the only method with which they could get results. This is not only for the US policy but also for all of the problems faced by other states. An anti-materialist, anti-Darwinist education based on the Qur’an and the signs leading to faith would be the essential solution to all of the problems faced by the world.
Moreover, we need to evaluate the recent events within the scope of Iran’s new policy. Having a moderate government was a good opportunity for the US to take a step forward in that direction. The good relation between the Rouhani and the Obama administrations is a nice improvement that will yield big returns as well.
As the peoples of the Middle East, we can offer better contributions and beauties to the US than they can offer to us in return. We must consider this, abandon the traditional hostile policies of the past and move towards love and friendship. This is because with the Islamic Union, we aim for a foundation that will bring harmony not only to Muslim countries but also to the whole world.
Reconciliation between Iran and the US seemed impossible in the past, but now it sets an example for all other countries. Therefore we must break with the past and move towards friendship with solid and progressive steps.
Q: Turkey is a Muslim country, but the majority of its citizens are Sunnis. On the other hand, Iran is a Shiite-dominant country; however, the two nations have maintained close and friendly relations with each other through times. As a Muslim scholar, what do you think about the peaceful coexistence of the Sunnis and the Shiites? How should they avoid disputes and move toward convergence and solidarity?
A: Before everything we are Muslims. We have the same religion and we are brothers and sisters. The conflict of Sunnis and Shiites is completely artificial and it is a plot to destroy the Islamic world. No Muslim should ever fall into this trap. There are Shiite and Alawite people living in our country: They are at the heart of this country. I am always saying that they are the cement of this country. They are people of love and compassion. I always present their loving character as an example to others.
Both our Prophet Mohammad (SAAS) and Hazrat Ali (PBUH) are people of extraordinary beauty whom we love, respect and hold up as an example because of their deep love. There are no divisions among us. We are a single ummah united under the name “Muslim.” For example, I come from the lineage of Hazrat Ali (PBUH) and I am proud of it. I am very proud that there are people who love Hazrat Ali (PBUH) as much as this. Like the Shiites in my country, the Shiites and the Sunnis in Iran are my brothers and sisters. I could never discriminate between them.
No Muslim should fall into this plot that aims to set Muslims against Muslims. The discrimination of Sunnis and Shiites is simply a deceit, which was propounded by some devious circles and came down to this day in order to weaken Muslims. Now there are people who support this for their own agenda. The current turmoil and weakness in the Middle East is a result of their efforts. No one should fall into this trap. Allah says in the Qur’an, “Muslims are brothers.” He says, “Don’t be separated.” We must be united, remembering that we believe in the same Allah and the same prophet. We must teach love to those who want hatred, because this is what religion commands.
Iran and Turkey’s friendship is a good example of this. From now on, we must show in an even stronger way to those who seek conflict through sectarianism that everything will be solved through love and unity.
Q: In your recent writings, you mentioned that the United States should distance itself from the destructive policy of imposing economic sanctions against Iran or other countries since these sanctions affect the livelihoods of the ordinary citizens, impede their access to foodstuffs, medicine and other goods. What do you think about the impact of the sanctions on the Iranian people? Do you consider the sanctions legal or justifiable?
A: I do not think that such a method could ever be justifiable by any manner of means. Is it not a pity for the people living in that country? Is it not a pity for those newborns, those innocent, inoffensive people? There is such an unjust and utterly unnecessary implementation here. The US made a grave mistake with such an implementation and the Iranian people are suffering under the load of that right now.
An altercation in a political sense takes place between the leaders of two countries and an embargo is placed upon the people of that country. The people in that country are left in poverty; they have no access to medicine or sufficient food, or any necessities for that matter. That is not right. This wrong should be made right instantly. I believe that dialogue and messages of good intentions coming from both sides are very important in this respect as well. I hope this unjust implementation of the embargo will come to an end soon.
Q: Some of your books have been translated into Persian and circulated across Iran. What’s your viewpoint regarding the importance of reaching out to the Iranian readers? What do you think about the translation and publication of your books in Iran?
A: I am very proud that my books are published in Iran. As I have said before, Iran is an important country; it is the castle of the Middle East. The Iranian people are very valuable, honest and good people. We have a brotherhood of Islam and history. This needs to become stronger, so the two countries can be united through indestructible ties of love. My books are books that refute the superstitions of our day, take the love and peace revealed in the Qur’an as a base, preach the Existence of Allah with millions pieces of evidence from nature, the universe and living beings and herald the fact that we are in the time of the emergence of Hazrat Mahdi (PBUH).
I’d like to express that I do not get any copyright from my books and they can be downloaded free of charge from the Internet. Therefore, my only purpose in telling these important truths is earning Allah’s good pleasure. We are in an important period. We are waiting for the appearance of Hazrat Mahdi (PBUH). Therefore, there needs to be means that will show people the truth and prepare them for the holy era of Hazrat Mahdi (PBUH). I am praying that my books could be those means. When I witness the impact of these books worldwide I’m very pleased. Insha’Allah, in a short time I will have the opportunity to distribute my books in Farsi in Iran. I hope that I could reach out to my brothers in Iran more.
Interview by Kourosh Ziabari