Turks have always refrained from following the route of “logic” as they invariably seek the way of conscience according to the morals of Islam; striving to do the right thing at the expense of what seems more expedient. Indeed, Turks – in other words everyone living in Turkey, be they Turks, Kurds, Syrians, Arabs, Circassians, Armenians, Jews or Laz – proved that changing times or changing circumstances couldn’t change that character as they wrote an epic story of bravery and self-sacrifice on the night of the coup attempt in Turkey.
This altruistic character is the reason why it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Turkey is ready to make its three million Syrian refugees Turkish citizens. After welcoming the largest Syrian refugee population in the world, which no doubt strained its already limited sources, the country is now getting ready to make these refugees a part of our already multiethnic family.
Before the coup attempt, the citizenship issue was probably the hottest topic in the media and on social media. However, albeit a few, some marginal groups notorious for their hateful attitudes towards everything and everyone loudly opposed the idea. The Western media, already shockingly prejudiced and biased against Turkey and Turks, rushed to portray this opposition as a sentiment that represented the entirety of the nation. They were wrong again. Turks have already proven their welcoming attitude towards people in need, regardless of the costs, and they were ready to do it again.
We hope that our Syrian brothers and sisters will get their citizenship soon. This entitlement will not only accelerate their integration into Turkish society, but they will also be able to take care of their needs in an easier manner. Finding jobs, having access to regular medical services, education and other issues will no longer be a difficulty. Furthermore, given that a large part of the Syrian refugees are educated and qualified people, there is no doubt that they will be incredible assets to our country.
Regrettably, as we said before, there is a small group of people opposing this idea, largely as a reflection of their selfish desire to prioritize their needs and wishes over everyone else’s. It is unlikely that these people will come to support this idea any time soon.
However, it would be a fair approach to address their claims and to explain why they have no validity. First of all, labeling all Syrians as criminals doesn’t even warrant a serious answer as there is no doubt there are criminals to be found in every society and Turkish society has them as well. In any case, statistics clearly reveal that the rate of Syrians involved in criminal activities is very low.
The claim that refugees may cause social tension is equally unfounded: First of all, Syrians are definitely not ‘foreigners.’ Until a century ago, we lived as brothers and sisters, people of the same land, the Ottoman Empire. More importantly, we believe in the same God, religion, scripture and prophets and we share similar historical pasts and a similar culture. Our Syrian brothers and sisters perfectly testified to this fact when they rushed into the streets to fight alongside Turks on the night of the coup attempt.
For these reasons, we are more than willing to make our brotherhood official and to help our siblings at times of this difficulty. The hateful voices that seem to be so loud will not be able to shut down our love for each other.
Adnan Oktar's piece in EKurd Daily & News Today: