Message of Friendship
Ladies and Gentlemen, as the intellectuals of a Great Country, I am sure that some of you have taken up a probing before gathering here, in order to have more knowledge about us. I guess that you have derived these knowledge out of the sources of the Western Culture. These information were mainly derived from the writings and memories of authors and travelers, who had lived a brief period in Turkey. These writers seemed to have been attracted by the magic of the Orient, imagining utopist legends, fancy idle tales or with the hope of living in the "One Thousand and One Night Stories…" As a result of their adventural experiences, optimist or pessimist, they wrote under the impression of personal views, thoughts and sentiments. It is evident that no culture can be fully comprehended in these contexts. Turkey and her culture are of no exception to this. And hence, you have come here some of you biased, some of you unbiased, some of you feel that let us see first and make up mind later. In this distinguished gathering, I shall be displaying some examples of our culture, regarding as our thoughts, feelings, music and folklore with the aim of making ourselves understood. I hope that our messages, which are hidden in words and forms, would be able to let you recognize us inside out, in comparison to what you hitherto studied on Turks.
Ladies and Gentlemen, owing to the geographical situation and historical significance as you all know, that our country is the cradle of ancient civilization, retrospectively Anatolia had become the trespassing stage for the rise and collapse of several nations. By the appreciation and help of the God of all us, since almost exactly a millennium we have been outliving than any other nations whom preceded us in Anatolia. In the meantime converted to Islam, we always practiced its leniency, and as a rule, we never intervened the faith of "the people of the scripture." It is apparent that the presence of people from different believes, who had been under our administration are now acting as our witnesses. To day too, the inhabitants of this country, belonging to various faiths and religions, are amalgamated within the sphere of "love." More than everybody else, we all believe to the equality, the unity of human being as the creature of God, and that he has been created with love, for love and for to be loved. The existence of this understanding is the result of a spiritual education and teaching of centuries inherited from father to son. In particular we owe this to Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi (1207-1273). The great Turkish sage, mystic and poet of humanity Mevlana, teaching and educating us for 800 years, gifted us the most valuable mystic treasure of the world. His works translated in many languages, are composed of five books, two in poetry of 75,000 verses and the rest in prose. He inspired music too, which is the source of the Turkish Classical Music. With the whirling dance, he takes part to the universal movement, which exists in the atoms, that the modern science has just found as the essential secret of the existence. According to Mevlana, the human being is a triangle, composed of Spirit (essence, energy, activity, sema…) Reason (wisdom, intelligence…) and Love (feelings, poetry, music…) it is not possible to find these three components so tightly joined, thus supplementing each other in thought and meaning, in theory and practice in any other system of thought! More later, this conception has created a practicing school, now a part of our folklore, called Whirling Dervishes. Mevlana, who influenced and continue to influence throughout his works many people in the world… Between many we can mention, In the 16th century, Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, Martin Luther, Sebastian Frank, the three great humanists of the Renaissance, who translated some of his poems. In the seventeenth century the great paint artist Rembrandt. In the eighteen century the famous music compositor Ludwig Van Beethoven. In the 19th century Joseph von Hammer, Johann Wolgangvon Goethe, Friedrick Ruckert… In 20th century Prof. A. Nicholson, Prof. Arberry from Cambridge Univ. the poet Hans Meinke, the Orientalist Prof. Ritter, Prof. Dr. Anne Marie Schimmel from Harvard and Bonn Univ., Prof. Eva Meyerovitch from Sorbonne University, etc.
Some selected verses from Mevlana
An example of Mevlana's conception of unity of all believes:
Mevlana says, that the basis of all creation and believes is love:
In the miracles showed by the Prophets in order to invite to faith, Mevlana includes himself as followed:
The call of Mevlana to all human being without discrimination:
From this five senses, six directions carry all what you possess to the country of Unity. Till when you will continue only to speak of Unity.
Come on, deny your Ego. Get United with everybody. So long as you remain in yourself, you are a particle. But if you get united with everybody, you are a mine, an ocean. Believe that all spirits are One! And all bodies are One! Just like almonds in quantity hundred thousands; but there is the same oil in all of them.
There are many languages in the world, in meaning all are the same. If you break the cups, water will be unified and will flow together…
Ladies and Gentlemen, words and time may have an end, but not the explanation of a culture. A people could only be understood with relations, experiences and a continual contact. So I repeat the call of Mevlana,But please come with 'LOVE'.
Ladies and Gentlemen, is it possible to believe to a perpetual peace in the world strictly rational by Education, Science and Culture but without love?
My wish is that all of us here and all the nations of the world break the cups of our EGOs and be unified in love of GOD, the Creator of all of us, in love of mankind, without discrimination of races, believes and nations, living all together, in a world of LOVE, with happiness and peace.
Dr. Çelebi's Legacy
Upon Dr. Çelebi's demise in 1996, his family established the International Mevlana Foundation to continue the his work and to conduct research on Mevlana's works and thoughts, and carry them over to next generations, not only in Turkey, but all over the world.
A list of current activities arranged by the Foundation can be found here.