Yunus Emre Institute President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş hosted writer Alev Alatlı at his program "Rethinking, Reinterpreting," aired on the social media accounts of Yunus Emre Institute.
Our Institute President Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş made the opening speech of the program. "When we first launched this program, we were somewhat hesitant. We thought that philosophical issues that require thinking and interpreting would not attract people's attention. But, we were glad to see that more than 100,000 people, not only from Turkey, but also from various countries around the world, watched our program last week. Figures do not matter. Even one person had watched it, it would be very precious," he said.
Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş's first question to Alev Alatlı was: "We believe that the common fate of the world today will give human beings an opportunity to listen to their inner voices, settle scores with themselves, and rethink certain things. Do you think we are at a turning point?"
"No. I wish everything had been so easy. There are so many examples of the current calamity; I don't believe that this will rehabilitate humanity in any way. A remedy will soon be found and people will forget about it. Go back hundreds of years and think about the gruesome plague outbreaks. It was no different. Moreover, its cause was not known. It affects everyone, kings and slaves alike. The virus lives out its life and disappears and humanity goes astray again. I have no hope as regards rehabilitation. It will be forgotten. I don't think that any lesson will be learned," she said.
Alatlı gave examples from Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Vietnam and drew attention to the refugee problems. "Look at the number of the babies like Aylan. What matters is to attain the state of mind for showing due respect to human life. I am afraid this is not something that COVID-19 will do," she said.
Noting that rationalism, rationalism and causal relationships have eliminated human emotions, empathy and compassion and human beings have started to be enslaved by science and technology they have created, Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş indicated that the need for compassion is even greater today. He asked Alatlı to elaborate on the concept of compassion.
"Compassion is part of reason," Alatlı said, noting that reason is useless without compassion. "We should make correct sense of reason. If you have reason, you use the reason. When this is reversed, I am afraid this will push us, especially Muslim and less developed countries, to stagnation. You will use reason by going above what the nation uses. COVID-19? We will stop talking nonsense and find the vaccine. Work on it even for 24 hours a day. What else are you supposed to do? UCAVs? We will do it. Why will we do it? This is because it is us who know how to use what we have. This is the primary difference of Muslims. Muslims do not consume anything just because it is there. We do not have the conception of ownership. The ownership conception consists of using up or consuming. This is the greatest factor that distinguishes us from the Westerners or Christians," she said.