A Note on the Intellectual Basis of the Unity of the Turkic World *
Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to extend you all my most sincere and respectful greetings and wish that this important Conference be fruitful and successful.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all once again, especially the President of the Constitutional Council Mr. Kairat Mami, for your warm interest and hospitality during our visit to Kazakhstan last week.
It was an unforgettable visit for us, every moment of which was fruitful. As a matter of fact, I consider that such reciprocal visits are also important and necessary for the integration of the Turkic world, which is the subject matter of today’s Conference.
As is known, on 12 November 2021 a new development was achieved, which is of particular concern to the Turkic world. At the 8th Summit of the Turkic Council that convened in İstanbul on this date, the name of the Council was changed to the Organisation of Turkic States, thus starting a new era in terms of the unity of the Turkic world.
The success of the Organisation of Turkic States also depends on the development of cooperation and solidarity among all institutions and non-governmental organisations of the member and observer states.
In this regard, I would like to express with pleasure that we had very fruitful negotiations with Mr. Mami in Nur Sultan last week on how this cooperation could be achieved in the field of constitutional justice.
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of my thoughts regarding the basis of the unity of the Turkic world.
This unity should be based on an understanding focusing on the objective to let the humanity live. Severe problems in the world may be resolved only through a human-oriented approach.
The roots of this mindset may be found in Turkestan hosting today’s Conference. The preeminent philosopher al-Farabi, in his work Virtuous City (El-Medinetü'l-Fazıla), indeed told us about 1,100 years ago that happiness, which is the goal of society, can only be achieved through cooperation. In the same vein, Khoja Ahmed Yassawi, one of the architects of thoughts and beliefs in Turkic world, explained through his glorious hikmets (mysteries) a human-oriented understanding several centuries ago.
Scholars such as Yunus Emre, Mawlana and Hadji Bektash Veli, who have enlightened Anatolia by following the path paved by Yassawi, also introduced good examples of this understanding. These great scholars have glorified and taught the whole values and principles based on humanity and dignity to the people.
Their discourses and teachings have also guided us to establish a sound relationship and live together with the one different from “us”, namely “the other”.
In brief, the human-oriented understanding that emerged in Turkestan and reached the West through Anatolia is of vital importance for the contemporary civilization to overcome the crisis it has experienced. Today, what should be done is to have these values and mysteries translated into today’s language, and in the words of Mehmet Akif, our national poet, “to have them conveyed in the manner understood by today’s people (asrın idrakine söyletilmesi)”.
In conclusion, I would like to express that the unity of the Turkic world should adopt an approach to build and maintain the national and international virtuous society pointed out by al-Farabi, by being inspired by our spiritual roots and in harmony with the necessities of the age. We, as the Turkic world, should strive for a fair country and world where fundamental rights and freedoms are respected and protected, the rule of law is ensured and people live together in peace and welfare.
In other words, we all should have a common goal of establishing and maintaining a pluralist, liberal and democratic order which is predicated on human dignity, in pursuit of fundamental rights and freedoms, and where the rule of law reigns along with its all institutions and rules.
Ending my speech with these feelings and thoughts, I would like congratulate the 30th anniversary of the Republic of Kazakhstan again and wish the Kazakh state and people further years of peace and happiness.
I would like to once again extend you all my sincere regards.
|Prof. Dr. Zühtü ARSLAN|
|The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Türkiye|
* Speech delivered at the opening of the online Conference on “‘Nazarbayev’s Model’: Course towards Integration of Turkic World” held in Turkestan, Kazakhstan, on 26 November 2021.