Religions Denounce Terrorism Conference

National Seminars | ALANYA, Turkey
September 1, 1999
National Seminars | LEFKOSE, KKTC
July 15, 2005

Religions Denounce Terrorism Conference

The conference entitled ‘Religions Denounce Terrorism’ has been successfully accomplished in Istanbul on June 23, 2003. About 200 invited guests, all prominent members of various religious communities and organizations from a wide range of countries like Turkey, Russia, Bulgaria, Israel, the United States, Italy and France were present at the meeting. Several Turkish MP’s and politicians were also among the audience to set out their views and send a joint message.

By stressing the twisted nature of the concept of “terror in the name of religion,” the TSRF aims both to give an effective reply to a radical and aggressive idea which threatens our world and also, by stressing the shared values of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, to contribute to understanding, tolerance, dialogue and cooperation between the members of these three divine religions.

The picture shows some of the speakers, Christian, Jewish and Muslim clerics together with Mr. Yavas, the TSRF president. Nearly all the speakers mentioned the importance of human life in monotheistic faiths and took a powerful stance against terrorism and extremism. The fact that all the three Abrahamic faiths share the same belief in the Creator and the common moral values was also stressed. In Mr. Yavas’ speech, the materialist philosophy and Darwinism was also pointed as a common adversary that all theists should stand against.

A Common Attitude Against Materialism

The Technics & Science Research Foundation sets out in the belief that erroneous worldviews and moral concepts lie at the root of a great many problems in Turkey and the world. Political conflict, war and injustice within societies are in fact closely related to people’s moral values. When we look at the moral understanding, which gives rise to these problems, we come face to face with materialism.

This philosophy assumes that life on Earth is totally the product of chance. It proposes that man is a living species descended from animals and that he only progresses by means of conflict. It is inevitable that someone who subscribes to this philosophy will be selfish. He will regard his life as a ruthless struggle for self-interest in which virtues such as self-sacrifice, compassion and honesty have no place. This false worldview, which claims to be a scientific one by means of Darwin’s theory of evolution, makes enormous influence today, despite being erroneous. The destructive effects of materialism can be seen both in such totalitarian ideologies as communism and fascism and in the moral degeneration as well as terrorism and discriminatory practices plaguing modern societies.

Since materialism directs people towards material values alone and turns them away from spiritual values, it also destroys national sentiment and thus represents a major threat to nations’ perpetuity.

It is for these reasons that the TSRF has been engaged in a wide-ranging cultural service for many years in order to reveal the mistaken nature of materialism and its intellectual foundation, Darwinism, to the people of Turkey and the entire world. To that end the TSRF has held some 1500 conferences, inside and outside the country, all of which have met with enormous interest and support.

One of the important facts emerging in the course of this intellectual struggle against materialism is that believers in all three divine religions are united against materialist philosophy. Jews, Christians and Muslims believe that God created us and that we need to live by the truths revealed by Him, which are very important shared values. The TSRF believes that the members of the three divine religions should act together on the basis of these shared values.

It is also essential that members of the divine religions cooperate not just against materialism, but also in the intellectual defeat of such harmful ideologies as racism and fascism, and also to resolve such problems as poverty and social injustice.

THE TSRF VISION OF COOPERATION BETWEEN RELIGIONS

Within the approach described here, the TSRF has initiated a wide-ranging cultural service campaign on the subject of dialogue and cooperation between religions, and is determined to continue with this.

The members of the TSRF are ready to assume all kinds of responsibility for this mission and to make all necessary sacrifices. Some principles assumed as duties by the TSRF community can be set out as follows:

  • In the light of the truths and values shared by all three religions, the TSRF community is ready to engage in all forms of cultural cooperation with Jews and Christians. It particularly wishes to make all kinds of arrangements in order to offer its cultural work, which explains the existence of God, the false nature of atheistic philosophies and the beauty of religious moral values, to the service of Christians and Jews.
  • The Technics & Science Research Foundation is a prominent supporter of the rights of Jewish and Christian Turkish citizens, and will continue to be so. The TSRF community is ready to give Jewish and Christian Turkish citizens all kinds of intellectual and social support in order for them to live in peace and security and to live by and represent their religions in the manner they choose. One of the TSRF’s aims is to contribute to social development so that shameful measures as the Wealth Tax, now a thing of the past, and tragedies such as the events of September 6-7 should never be repeated.
  • The TSRF is totally opposed to words or actions intended to harass Jewish and Christian communities, whether in Turkey or anywhere else in the world. It fiercely opposes anti-Semitism, or the hatred of Jews, a barbaric ideology of hatred.

Conclusion

The TSRF believes that the development of mutual tolerance and understanding between the members of the three religions and cooperation built on common values will be an important step capable of changing the world in the 21st century. The last two centuries were full of the bitter fruits of mankind’s deception by materialist philosophy. One can see the traces of this philosophy in the World Wars, in genocide, in ethnic conflicts, in communist or fascist totalitarianism and in moral degeneration and corruption. The fact is, however, that advances in thought and science are demolishing materialism and its derivatives and are showing man that he is not in this world by chance but exists by the grace of God.

Rather than a “clash of civilisations” between Jews and Christians who accept this basic truth and Muslims, there must be peace and cooperation.

The TSRF is determined to work for this peace and cooperation, both in Turkey and in the world at large. The following verse from the Qur’an sums up the essence of the way TSRF members regard Christians and Jews.

“We believe in what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to you. Our God and your God are one and we submit to Him.” (Qur’an, 29: 46)

CONFERENCE PROGRAMME
18.30 – Cocktail
19.00 – Dinner
20.00 – Multivision show – Conference 1st part
21.00 – Break
21:15 – Conference 2nd part
22:00 – Ceremony

GUEST LIST

AGAH OKTAY GÜNERFormer Minister of Culture
AGOP MİNASYANMember of Armenian Catholic Community
AHMET BEYATLITODAV Foundation
AHMET KARAMERCANDepartment of Religious Affairs
ALEXANDER LAKSHINRussian Chief Rabbi
ALTUĞ MÜŞTAK BERKERFoundation on the Preservation of National Values
ANDREY STETSKEVICHRussian Catholic Church Representative
BEHNAN KONUTGANBible Society
CHIARA LUBICHFocolare Movement
CONSTANTINO CEDOLINIConsulate General of Italy
DAVID SEIDENBERGRabbi from California
EDİBE SÖZENAssociate Dean for Faculty of Communication
FARUK TERZİHAN KELDANİKeldani Catholic Community Leader
GEORGES MAROVITCHVatican Istanbul Representative
GÖKHAN SAMİ BAYKARANew York Chief Rabbi
HASAN KAMİL YILMAZMarmara University Faculty of Theology
HAYRANI ALTUNTAŞAnkara University Faculty of Theology
HİKMET ÜÇIŞIKBosphorus University
HOUSNI SALİH EL-MUDURConsulate General of Libya
HOVHANNES J. TCHHOLAKIANArmenian Catholic Church
IGOR VYZHANOVRussian Orthodox Church
İLHAMİ GÜLERAnkara University Faculty of Theology
JOHN LUCALEmbassy of Vatican
JOSEPH ANIS ABI AADMaronite Patriarch of All the East
LORENZO PİRETTORoman Catholic Church
LOUIS PELATRESpiritual Leader of Catholic Community
MARK JENKHAMRepresentative of Anglican Church
MAURO PESCEFocolare Movement
MEHMET AYDINMinistry of Department of Religious Affairs
MICHEL ANGESaint Joseph High School
NASRALLAH- PETER SFEIRMaronite Patriarch of All the East
NEVZAT YALÇINTAŞAKP Deputy
NİKOLAI PETKOVBulgarian Union of Orthodox Churches
NURETTİN UZUNOĞLUResearcher – Writer
ORAZİO DE FRANCESCHİChief Pastor Notre Dame Church
ÖMER ÖZSOYAnkara University Faculty of Theology
PATRICK HANISHUS Consulate General
PATRİK 1. BARTHOLOMEOS“Fener Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church”
PATRİK 2. MESROB MUTAFYANArmenian Apostolic Church
PAUL KARATAŞKildani Catholic Church
RAIMONDO BARDELLIYeşilköy Catholic Guesthouse
RAVIL GAYNUDDINCouncil of Muftis of Moscow
SABİNE FEISELGerman Evangelical Church
SAHAK MAŞALYANArmenian Church – Deputy of Patriarch
SALİH TUĞMarmara University Faculty of Theology
SAMUEL AKDEMİRDeputy Metropolitan of the Ancient Syrian Christian Church
SERGEI VELICHKINConsulate General of Russia
SILVIU STATEConsulate General of Romania
SUAT YILDIRIMMarmara University Faculty of Theology
TAOUFIK JABEURConsulate General of Tunisia
TARKAN YAVAŞScience Research Foundation
TEOLİPTOSDeputy Fener Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church
TURGAY ÜÇALPresbyterian Church Turkey
WAJIH MAJBOURRepresentative of Embassy of Saudi Arabia
YAKUP ÇİÇEKMarmara University Faculty of Theology
YEHOSHUA ENGELMANRabbi of London
YUSUF ÇETİNSyriac Kadim Church
YUSUF KAPLANYenişafak Newspaper Writer
YUSUF SAĞSyrian Catholic Church
ZEKİ BASDEMİRSyrian Catholic Church
ZEKİ HACIİBRAHİMOĞLUIntellectuals Hearth