Suppressors of the revolutionary spirit of 98 years ago

29 Kasım 2023 Çarşamba

Date: November 30, 1925.

Place: Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Ankara.

The words of Rize's deputy Ekrem Bey (Ekrem Rize) entered the parliamentary records:

'Undoubtedly, today another important law is being added to the history of the Republic. From now on, there will be no sheiks and tekkes. I am happy to see this. Until now, tekkes have been the nests of the most disgusting social scenes, played roles in the most turbulent times of the country, and caused ominous and political destruction. They used to tell the sultans, 'We are your servants. We will do everything for you. We are your slaves, ready to serve you.' The sultan would tell them, 'Yes, you are the esteemed servants of God.' Therefore, both sides were committing crimes to please each other. History records their most ominous crimes.'

November 30 marks the day when sects and communities that have been a plague on the people for centuries and led to the spread of backwardness like cancer throughout the country, were abolished by law 98 years ago.

Nuri Bey (Nuri Conker, a close friend of Atatürk), a deputy from Kütahya, describes in the Assembly discussions how backwardness fueled by ignorance brought society to its knees:

'Witches, fortune tellers, quacks, selling dozens of bottles of pilgrim oil, other oils, and prayers, Uğru Abbas prayers in a tray, they are like mobile shrines. Mobile dervishes wander the streets, both harassing the people and leading them astray, causing many crimes. Therefore, I will propose the addition of a paragraph to the law about them.'

No prosecutor or government implementing law no. 677

The will that established the Republic by giving sovereignty to the people put an end to these structures that exploited beliefs and entrenched in the state with Law No. 677.

In 'Nutuk', Atatürk wrote about tekkes (lodges) and zawiyas (Islamic religious schools or monasteries):

"Gentlemen, the closing of tekkes and zawiyas, as well as tombs, and the banning and abolishment of various titles such as sheikhdom, dervishhood, discipleship, celibacy, fortune-telling, sorcery, and tomb guardianship, were actions taken while the Law of Maintenance of Order was in effect. The implementation and applications related to these show how necessary they were, as they demonstrate that our society is not a primitive community bound to empty beliefs."

All he said came true!

A coalition of sects that came to power, eventually turning into the Counterrevolutionary Sect itself, the AKP's collaboration with Fethullah Gülen ended with the coup attempt on July 15, 2016. When it came time to share the state, a fight broke out, and the Gülen Community, praised for years, became FETÖ.

There is political exploitation and betrayal of the people, not a sociological reality!

Today, structures like Menzil, Hakyol, İsmailağa Community, etc., reach immense sizes through foundations and associations, target children and young people with courses and dormitories, and reach millions through media outlets.

The plan works like this: First, public services that the state should offer to the people are privatized. While sects and communities provide electoral support to the government, the public budget is transferred to them through privatized services. As long as this dirty alliance continues, neoliberal policies will continue to drag Turkey down with backwardness hand in hand.

After Atatürk's death, those who came to power aimed to suppress the revolutionary spirit that closed the sects 98 years ago. Today, only socialist parties try to keep that revolutionary spirit alive in the political arena. The rest remain silent, claiming these formations, which are clearly against the law and secularism, are 'civil society organizations.'

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