Abant meetings have been conducted six times since 1998. I participated in the last three of these. I believe that the spirit of dialogue that exist in these meetings have to spread in order four our country to sustain democracy freedom in harmony with other nations.
Our discussions in the meetings revealed that despite our differences in solutions to issues, all of us share common basic human values. This, with no doubt, is mainly a result of the fact that we come from the same cultural and traditional background.
We have to comprehend and implement secularism in an approipriate manner. In Turkey, there has been a dispute among those who acknowledge religion and those who belived that religion and relisious thought was the cause and the sign of ignorance and underdevelopment for at least two hundered years. As a person who believes in agnosticism in religion, i am of the opinion that no other science can satisfy the spiritual needs of human or provide answers to the questions that religion claims to answer. However, there are people who accept the notion of living in justice and freedom without referring methaphysics (I believe I am one of them). Being of this opinion does not give us the right to force the others to divert from their beliefs.
The bottomline is to attain a capacity of living together with a common sense of citizenship without changing each other. With these thought in mind, i hope that this perspective started with Abant speards to larger comunittees and the tension between traditinalists and the reformists is resolved in a healthy and constructive manner.
Prof. Dr. Mete Tuncay
Academic Coordinator Abant Platform