The Reconstruction of Islamic Civilization Will Be Possible Through Education

Opening Speech

Dear Ministers, precious guests and press members… First of all, I would like to thank all of you for your visit. I will keep my speech short, because we have much more important speeches today. I will try to make a short speech in order to save more time for them. But before I start, I find it as a duty to chastise the terrorist events taking place all over the world, especially the recent ones in our country, and the attacks aiming at our citizens and security forces. I reckon that it is such a primary duty to mention the names of the organizations supporting our congress both financially and institutionally. I, in the name of two organizations, tender my thanks to Prime Ministry Promotion Fund, Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Our Ministry of Education, Department of Religious Affairs, Islamic Development Bank,  ISESCO – which we have signed a protocol together on this subject- , Halk Bank and TUBITAK for all their institutional and financial  support to our congress.


Again I would like to thank all ISAV and TASAM personnel who have spend such great efforts on this congress, all administrators in the government sector who supported us a lot and especially Doz. Dr. Ahmet Kavas and my assistant Fatma Günce Kanlı –because they two worked much harder.

This meeting has three goals as appointed in the invitations: First is to share, discuss and evaluate the acquisitions of Islamic world which Turkey is on the top. Second is to try to determine a vision for the future. And the third is to discuss policies aiming at erasing the tendencies which seem to harm both the image of Islam and the social peace in the world. These tendencies occur from the misdirections or wrong systems of education and are generally attributed to our religion even though it has no relation with it at all. This will be a congress in which all these topic will be discussed. There will be more than 70 declarations presented. We will have delegation participatings from more than 40 member states of Organization of the Islamic Conference. And I thank them again for their participation.


Of course it is very important for us to present declarations in the academic part of the conference and to share them with the public opinion. But our primary goal which is to determine where we stand in the world and what we aim for the future as Islamic world and as member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a diplomatic roof, is even more important. As we know, Islamic Civilization enlightened the whole world only until two hundred years ago and was the leader in the world to  create a life in harmony with knowledge, science, art and nature.  But in today’s situation, Islamic world is having trouble due to the failures of Islamic countries’ catching up the developments in some matters. Actually it is not only the Islamic countries that are living this problem; even very developed countries are in the threshold of sociological and demographical corruption, and they are experiencing a huge depression and distress. In this sense, the mission and vision of Islamic countries must be to reconstruct the Islamic civilization by getting stronger and benefiting from the world’s experiences without casting out any of them, including the experiences of the West. We have to aim at an Islamic world that has its own life style and living up to this style, by this way being a peace component both in its neighborhood and community, its country and the world, and which contribute to the right sharing of world’s balances in the basis of power and justice.  The only way that seems to achieve this is through education.  I always focus on the words ‘power’ and ‘justice’.  Because whenever the balances lean on one side, all the things that we are going through today are happening. All the things that Africa has been living for the last two hundred years are happening. Turkey’s knowledge, experience and the background coming from its history of the Republic and its success in the European Union accession process are such big chances for the Islamic world. Because it is not possible to get an experience, use and transfer it to others without being a part of it.  So I believe that this congress will have a fundamental political message in terms of sharing both Turkey’s and other Islamic countries’s experiences and gains. Certainly the most important point in here is to raise generations, institutions and individuals with a strategic vision. Yesterday I made a search on the net for my speech. And I saw that in recent years, especially in Islamic countries of the Middle East, great amounts of numbers have been invested for education, research and development.  Nevertheless investing great amounts on these matters does not necessarily mean that the problem is solved. Who is going to use the money for investments, who is going to spend it and through which knowledge and equipment it will be used, and where? These questions are of so much importance too. Investing good money does not mean that it will certainly work. Today every investment with %20 financing and %80 human resources  are concluded. On the contrary to that, more money comes together with more mistakes. Now what we have to do is to contribute to the education of new generations who have a strategic vision, and who can use what they have in the best productive way, both morally and materially. Turkey is fulfilling this mission with the leadership of two non-governmental organizations. It is supporting the discussions of new policies and so the improvement of the Islamic world. As you can see in the declaration of conclusion, we hope that a new institute will be established which aims at cooperations in the field of education. After it’s Asia and Africa expansions,  TASAM is doing it’s bit on this sectoral matter which aims at Islamic world. It has always done and will keep on doing ever after.

I again thank all the institutions and individuals supporting this organization both morally and materially.  Thank you very much for listening.

(The Opening Speech of Education Congress of OIC Member States 24 Ekim 2007)

Areas

Continents ( 5 Area )
Action
 Content ( 610 ) Event ( 163 )
Areas
Africa 64 239
Asia 67 276
Europe 13 52
Latin America & Carribean 12 38
North America 7 5
Regions ( 4 Area )
Action
 Content ( 255 ) Event ( 41 )
Areas
Balkans 22 124
Middle East 15 103
Black Sea and Caucasus 2 23
Mediterranean 2 5
Identity Fields ( 2 Area )
Action
 Content ( 376 ) Event ( 67 )
Areas
Islamic World 51 329
Turkish World 16 47
Turkey ( 1 Area )
Action
 Content ( 353 ) Event ( 37 )
Areas
Turkey 37 353