The holy month of Ramadan is over and we are now celebrating Eid al-Fitr, or Şeker Bayramı, "Candy Holiday," as we Turks call it.
It is a month in which individuals not only fast and try to understand the suffering of the hungry and the needy, but also a month of deep inner contemplation and taking an account of our own lives.
This great nation lived up to our expectations, winning the spiritual war both at home and abroad.
At home the nation showed it can still rise up to the occasion to help people when 301 miners died in a horrible mining disaster in Soma. The whole nation did not only feel the pain of losing them deep in their hearts, but mobilized all its resources to help their loved ones and the surviving wounded miners.
Abroad, Turkey went out of its way to draw attention to the plight of the oppressed.
Turkey, at one time, had good relations with the state of Israel, so much so that the Israeli administration agreed to have Ankara be the honest broker between itself and Syria. Turkey had all to gain by continuing this role and yet today it has become the most ardent critic of Israel, because this is a nation that cannot tolerate injustice, oppression and cruelty. Palestinians have always had a special place in the hearts of Turkish people and have gone out of their way to rush to their help, even at times when so many of their own Arab brothers had abandoned them.
Turkey put aside all self-interests, even at the cost of angering the U.S. and some Western countries, and stood up to the tyranny of the Israeli administrators who have recently butchered hundreds of Palestinian civilians including women and children in a so-called military operation to "defend the Israeli state." Only Qatar helped Turkey while the Arabs abandoned their Palestinian brothers. What a great shame for them. Turkey mobilized all its resources to pay the price and is helping the Palestinian masses.
Turks also realized that what Muslims were doing to other Muslims was far worse than what the so-called Western "infidels" were doing to Muslims. Turkey took the initiative through its dynamic Religious Affairs Directorate General to launch a campaign with leading Muslim scholars and wise men, who were assembled in Istanbul recently during Ramadan, and set up a contact group to resurrect the vital values of Islam where Muslims are forbidden to take the lives of other Muslims, let alone hurt them or oppress them. Yet the scenes we are experiencing in Iraq and Syria show the complete opposite.
Having good relations with any Egyptian government is in the interest of Turkey as it has such huge investments in this country. Yet, Turkey did not shut up and sit in a corner while the world turned a blind eye to oppression in Egypt and approved a military junta as an elected government.
In line with the teachings of Islam, Turks did not just sleep soundly in their cozy beds as their neighbors in Iraq, Syria and Palestine suffered incredible pains. This great nation deserves a few days of respite. Happy holidays!