Date posted: June 19, 2013
Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has issued a warning about the outcry that the name of the third bridge over the Bosphorus has stirred among the public in Turkey, especially among Alevis, urging fraternity.
Gülen said today via his website that naming the bridge “Yavuz Sultan Selim,” after an Ottoman Sultan historically known for slaughtering Alevis, should not demolish “others bridges.”
“It is not right that our brothers stick to the name of the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and then say ‘We boycott this meal’ when a lot of bridges have been built. They should go there and come together with those who named the bridge,” the scholar said.
Following the announcement of the name, a group of Alevis had gathered at Garipçe village in Istanbul where the new bridge construction has been kicked off and protested the decision.
Gülen emphasized the ties between Alevis and Sunnis, wishing that both confessions were more in communion. “No, we do not have any differences! Everyone should respect the feelings of one another.”
Turkish President Abdullah Gül, who announced the name of the third bridge during the solemn sod-cutting ceremony, suggested that another project could be name after the mystic Hacı Bektaş Veli, who became one of the main teachers of Alevism, or the Alevi poet Pir Sultan Abdal.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News, 19 June 2013