What Form Should the Turkish-Islamic Union Take?
The concept of union and unity in question is not based on one culture or group being superior to another, but on a spirit of solidarity, tolerance, love and friendship in which they are all equal.
By the leave and blessing of Allah, the unification of the Turkish-Islamic world will bring the world the peace and security for which it longs. That union will be built on love, brotherhood, affection, compassion and solidarity. It will aim to bring economic well-being, a democratic life style and justice to the region. It will seek to elevate spiritual values and to raise art, technology and science to the highest levels.
The Turkish-Islamic Union will also enjoy warm relations with the West. Since the union will be founded on the basis of love and justice, the parties’ rights will be guaranteed and their respective interests will be protected.
In this way, the levels of well-being of all the members of the union and all the countries of the world will rise.
The failure to reconcile the different views, interpretations and models that prevail in the Turkish-Islamic world represents an obstacle to Muslims acting together. The union’s call to unity will not be based on ethnic origins, economic conditions or geographical location. All kinds of dispute stemming from racial, linguistic or cultural features will be eliminated under the roof of brotherhood of this union. This union’s conception of unity will not be based on any community, culture or group being superior to any other, but will be based on a spirit of solidarity based on compassion, love and friendship that regards them all as equal.
The Turkish-Islamic Union Must Be a Solution Producer
The Turkish-Islamic Union will have to be sufficiently flexible in order to adapt to changing political circumstances and to be sufficiently forward-looking in order to develop requisite strategies. Rather than being an organization that settles for criticizing developments or expressing its own views, it clearly needs to be an active center capable of using its own initiative. This center must assume a permanent monitoring and coordination function and its activities must embrace the interests of all member countries. This union must consider all the demands of the Turkish-Islamic world by evaluating all developments in an objective manner. The Turkish-Islamic Union will resolve disputes that may arise between member countries, do away with conflicts of interest and serve as a protective mechanism in relations between Muslims and other societies. It will also enhance the cultural, economic and political efficiency of the Turkish-Islamic world.
The Views of the Great Turkish Leader Ataturk Contains an Important Message
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who made the Turkish Republic the most stable democracy among Muslim countries with the modern conception of the state he built, produced significant analyses of the kind of structure within which the Turkish-Islamic world could ensure unity and union. The accuracy of Ataturk’s analyses, who said that one of the main elements of a state was the right to exist within its own borders, were gradually corroborated over the passage of time.
During the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, some of the peoples living in its territories were led astray and, instead of living up alongside the Empire, they collaborated with foreign powers. Those who selected that course, out of hopes of various forms of self-interest, fell under the rule of the countries they collaborated with and were duly colonized. Some of these peoples sent representatives to Mustafa Kemal during the early years of the Republic, complaining of the failure of their leaders who had caused them to be colonized and even expressing the request to amalgamate with the Republic of Turkey. Ataturk’s response to these proposals represents an important answer to the question of the shape of the foundations of the Turkish-Islamic Union:
“We can only be delighted at the whole Islamic world being united and allied as much materially as spiritually. To that end, in the same way that we are independent within our own borders, so the Syrians and Iraqis must be able to emerge as an independent power based on national sovereignty.” (Mustafa Kemal, 24 April 1920, 4th (secret) session; www.mihenk.gr/arsiv/18/ mihenkokulu.htm)
The priority identified by Ataturk is for these countries to attain independence. Aware of the importance of the Turkish-Islamic Union, Ataturk noted that in order for the union to have the desired influence, member countries needed to be independent within their own borders and to be states based on national will and capable of standing on their own two feet. It is therefore of the greatest importance today for the members of this union to be established to maintain their national integrity and independence.