We encountered the development of European countries as a phenomenon while
the ottoman system had remained underdeveloped. Ottoman intelligentsia had put
many discussions on it and forward some thoughts about the objections against
the European dominance. The history of the Ottoman modernization consists of
those kinds of discussions. During the era of republic, The European continent
had represented the ‘level of modern civilization’ and been referred as the
Along the line lasted from Ottomans to the Turkish Republic, there has been
observed three attitudes towards ‘Europe’: first, to own everything from Europe,
second, to oppose against everything from Europe, third, to own beauties by
analyzing Europe into two parts and to oppose uglies. We can observe those three
attitudes in our time.
The subject of European Union (EU) must be handled in this general framework.
Bediüzzaman Said Nursi declared that it is necessary to own goodness of Europe
and to refuse apathies by analyzing it. Therefore, he can be placed in the third
way of attitudes towards Europe.
Although EU was an economic unification of the European States, aimed at their
common benefits at the beginning, it has showed itself as a structure working
for collaborating on the universal values at the behave of human being. Today,
the important criteria underlining the EU identity can be observed as the
democracy based upon instutional level, the sovereignty of the law, human rights
and basic freedoms and liberal economy with competition. The important step
maintained to establish an EU identity as emphasized by Maastricht (07/02/1992)
and Amsterdam (02/10/1997) Treaties is based upon the liberty, democracy, human
rights, basic freedoms and the law state.
Considering those properties of EU, a coincidence with the concepts of ‘the
beneficial arts of human society inspired by the real religion of Jesus’,
‘Justice’ and ‘sciences serving to the right’ which had been described as ‘the
first Europe’ by Bediüzzaman Said Nursi is observed. From this point of view, it
can be seen as a positive improvement for the sake of Turkey to collaborate with
Europe in the framework of Liberty, Justice, Human Rights, economy, science and
It will be an important phase of ‘Universal Peace’ emphasized by Bediüzzaman
Said Nursi to collaborate with the EU.
An important question is how Moslems will protect the Islamic identity if Turkey
takes its place in EU.
Bediüzzaman who mentions about the essence of freedom of coinscience at the
establishment of modern states emphasizes upon the end of the religious
suppression era. According to him, Cihad, the religious war, will be performed
spiritually along the way of ‘proven belief. The religious conceptions of
‘perfect enlightenment’, ‘right’ and ‘truth’ will be shown by ‘the proven
When the Turkey takes place in the EU, it will be easy to carry ‘religious
enlightenment, right and truth’ to the mass. As the increasing of believers
during the peace period maintained by the Hudeybiye treatise made by Mohammad,
the replacement of an Islamic society in the European community causes the
increasing in the number of believers at western population. It will be possible
to gather members of other religions with human values by explaining values of
Islamic religion which is the ‘great humanity’.
The different aspect of this subject is the truth of Turkey’s attempts to open
itself trying to collaborate common benefits carry away the Turkish community
from a closed structure to an open society.
Turkey had been prisoned by authoritarian practices; the human rights and
freedoms had been restricted for long years. When it replaces in the EU, meeting
with a knowledge society at the common basis of universal values will cause the
beginning of a period of freedom widely. It will also causes important steps on
rationalization and therefore, development.
The membership of Turkey to the EU by overwhelming the closed structure will
facilitate a healthy condition for relations to the Islamic World. First of all,
the practices of Turkish democracy will cause an available ground for the Islam
World to develop their governmental organs. That kind of available ground will
facilitate the rewitalization of Islamic Unification Ideal because of the
rational relations to the Islamic States.
The basic subject of this issue is the EU. After explaining the structure and
construction period of EU, Ömer Faruk Uysal discusses the arguments opposing and
supporting the EU. According to Ömer Faruk Uysal, the main arguments of those
supported the EU are 1) maintenance of more liberation, the Law State and
democratic government 2) demands on economic and social welfare. The opposite
arguments are 1) the threat towards the national sovereignty and independence,
2) the threat against the formal Kemalist ideology, 3) the weakness of a Moslem
country among the Christian community. After an analysis of two sides’ thesis,
Ömer Faruk Uysal declares that the EU is not an even on the earth but it is a
hope and attempt of democratization and development.
Hüseyin Hatemi analyses the EU from the aspects of the divine love, Justice and
ethic, and, he answers the question of we should be a member of EU as that we
shall take our place if we can collaborate with them without giving up the
principles of ethics, Justice and the divine love.
Ali Murat Yel emphasizing upon the cultural integration of EU ‘the Europization
of the people is very different from the support and opposition against the EU.
Today, people describe themselves as approximately forty different nations and
speak around seventy different languages. He puts the difficulty of that
integration by writing that it won’t be easy to convince all those different
groups to leave their nationalities by accepting an over identity.
Feyzullah Cihangir referring to the thesis of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi who said
‘it will improve from the clearance of the present civilization and will be put
forward the positive essences instead of its negative principles’ claims that
the Europe united with the Copenhagen criteria which are the results of the
search for solutions to the economic, social and political problems faces with
its own bloody side before two world wars in a meaning and the hegemonial
western civilization enters to a transformation period together with all EU
communitaire in his article on the concept of Europe, the development process
and the history of EU, Westernization Adventure of Turkey and relations between
Turkey and EU.
Although he does not mention about EU, Thomas Michel’s article named ‘Dialogue
and Sincerity in the thought of Said Nursi’ takes place in the file because it
presents any explanations on the dialogue of two different religions on which is
the base axis of discussions on relations of EU and Turkey. Abdulhalim Yener
examines the meaning of the Europe concept in Risale-i Nur.
Out of these, we put the article named ‘Centennial Renewer: Bediüzzaman Said
Nursi and the Tradition of Tajdid’ by Hamid Algar and the index of articles in
2003 as the appendix of 1994-2002 index.
As you see, we have already made some changes at the appearance of the
periodical. First, we use the standart size of ‘a periodical devoted to
throught’ and accordingly, we placed articles in one column. Second, we have
changed the cover design. From now on, we will use an illustration or a
grafic-look on the cover. Third, we have begun to publish titles of articles and
editorial in English. Next, we will put the abstract of each article at the
We hope that we will meet again at the spring issue of the periodical whose
subject is Bediüzzaman Said Nursi.