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.
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.
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:
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)
18.30 – Cocktail
19.00 – Dinner
20.00 – Multivision show – Conference 1st part
21.00 – Break
21:15 – Conference 2nd part
22:00 – Ceremony
|AGAH OKTAY GÜNER||Former Minister of Culture|
|AGOP MİNASYAN||Member of Armenian Catholic Community|
|AHMET BEYATLI||TODAV Foundation|
|AHMET KARAMERCAN||Department of Religious Affairs|
|ALEXANDER LAKSHIN||Russian Chief Rabbi|
|ALTUĞ MÜŞTAK BERKER||Foundation on the Preservation of National Values|
|ANDREY STETSKEVICH||Russian Catholic Church Representative|
|BEHNAN KONUTGAN||Bible Society|
|CHIARA LUBICH||Focolare Movement|
|CONSTANTINO CEDOLINI||Consulate General of Italy|
|DAVID SEIDENBERG||Rabbi from California|
|EDİBE SÖZEN||Associate Dean for Faculty of Communication|
|FARUK TERZİHAN KELDANİ||Keldani Catholic Community Leader|
|GEORGES MAROVITCH||Vatican Istanbul Representative|
|GÖKHAN SAMİ BAYKARA||New York Chief Rabbi|
|HASAN KAMİL YILMAZ||Marmara University Faculty of Theology|
|HAYRANI ALTUNTAŞ||Ankara University Faculty of Theology|
|HİKMET ÜÇIŞIK||Bosphorus University|
|HOUSNI SALİH EL-MUDUR||Consulate General of Libya|
|HOVHANNES J. TCHHOLAKIAN||Armenian Catholic Church|
|IGOR VYZHANOV||Russian Orthodox Church|
|İLHAMİ GÜLER||Ankara University Faculty of Theology|
|JOHN LUCAL||Embassy of Vatican|
|JOSEPH ANIS ABI AAD||Maronite Patriarch of All the East|
|LORENZO PİRETTO||Roman Catholic Church|
|LOUIS PELATRE||Spiritual Leader of Catholic Community|
|MARK JENKHAM||Representative of Anglican Church|
|MAURO PESCE||Focolare Movement|
|MEHMET AYDIN||Ministry of Department of Religious Affairs|
|MICHEL ANGE||Saint Joseph High School|
|NASRALLAH- PETER SFEIR||Maronite Patriarch of All the East|
|NEVZAT YALÇINTAŞ||AKP Deputy|
|NİKOLAI PETKOV||Bulgarian Union of Orthodox Churches|
|NURETTİN UZUNOĞLU||Researcher – Writer|
|ORAZİO DE FRANCESCHİ||Chief Pastor Notre Dame Church|
|ÖMER ÖZSOY||Ankara University Faculty of Theology|
|PATRICK HANISH||US Consulate General|
|PATRİK 1. BARTHOLOMEOS||“Fener Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church”|
|PATRİK 2. MESROB MUTAFYAN||Armenian Apostolic Church|
|PAUL KARATAŞ||Kildani Catholic Church|
|RAIMONDO BARDELLI||Yeşilköy Catholic Guesthouse|
|RAVIL GAYNUDDIN||Council of Muftis of Moscow|
|SABİNE FEISEL||German Evangelical Church|
|SAHAK MAŞALYAN||Armenian Church – Deputy of Patriarch|
|SALİH TUĞ||Marmara University Faculty of Theology|
|SAMUEL AKDEMİR||Deputy Metropolitan of the Ancient Syrian Christian Church|
|SERGEI VELICHKIN||Consulate General of Russia|
|SILVIU STATE||Consulate General of Romania|
|SUAT YILDIRIM||Marmara University Faculty of Theology|
|TAOUFIK JABEUR||Consulate General of Tunisia|
|TARKAN YAVAŞ||Science Research Foundation|
|TEOLİPTOS||Deputy Fener Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church|
|TURGAY ÜÇAL||Presbyterian Church Turkey|
|WAJIH MAJBOUR||Representative of Embassy of Saudi Arabia|
|YAKUP ÇİÇEK||Marmara University Faculty of Theology|
|YEHOSHUA ENGELMAN||Rabbi of London|
|YUSUF ÇETİN||Syriac Kadim Church|
|YUSUF KAPLAN||Yenişafak Newspaper Writer|
|YUSUF SAĞ||Syrian Catholic Church|
|ZEKİ BASDEMİR||Syrian Catholic Church|
|ZEKİ HACIİBRAHİMOĞLU||Intellectuals Hearth|