Look, this is no ordinary economic crisis. It is the crisis we are told will take place in the End Times, in the time of the Mahdi. It will probably last for 7 years, as stated in Surah Yusuf. Because it began in 2007 and will possibly last until 2014. The [Turkish] nation needs to take intense precautionary measures against it. The government also needs to take intense precautionary measures. For one thing, great importance must be attached to agriculture. All groups involved in agriculture must be given full backing, either with loans or other forms of support. Great importance must be attached to livestock breeding. And great importance must be attached to poultry rearing. All industries that support agriculture and livestock breeding must be given great importance and support. Lowering interest rates to zero, tax amnesties and reducing taxes as low as possible... But of course the wages of the poor must be raised as high as possible and their purchasing power increased. But as Muslims we of course have to help our brothers and everyone to the fullest extent possible. Wiping off the debts of those who cannot repay them is described as a virtue and good moral behavior in the Qur’an. It is wrong in my view to go to send the bailiffs to people’s homes if they cannot pay and take away their fridge or bed or whatever. My conscience cannot live with that. There may come a time when they can pay, and one should be patient and wait. If they say they cannot pay, that is the truth. One must have compassion. One must trust in Allah. Any other behavior may have undesired consequences. Allah has created all things for the best. One must trust Allah, Who gives us our daily bread. Domestic peace is very important. Internal disputes between left and right or whatever must be set aside. We must literally be brothers, and the Turkish-Islamic Union must be set up. Passport and visa requirements must be lifted at once and the borders opened up. That will invigorate trade to an unbelievable extent. It is obvious and certain that we will see excellent results from that, which is one of the solutions. Let me openly state that when these things are done the economic crisis will not touch us at all. But let me also say that if we fail to act in time, we may find ourselves in real difficulties.
(3 December 2008)