Anatolia, the heartland of modern Turkey, is the cradle of great civilizations. More than a dozen have been born and flourished here during the past 10.000 years. From BC to 1600 AD, Anatolia was the very heart of the civilized world at the crossroads of cultural and artistic currents emanating from Europe, Asia and Africa.
The name Anatolia means “Land of the Mother Sun”. Several of this land’s ancient civilizations cherished the sun and devised sacred symbols for it. The warmth of the Anatolian is alive today in the smiles of inhabitants, the modern Turks.
The great humanistic values do not change. Though nations and peoples may rise and decline, and governments may come and go, the value of history, art, culture and tolerance for all eternal and universal.
The Turkish people share in those values. For many peoples, Anatolia was a place of refuge and land of freedom. Many came here to escape oppression in the land of their birth, and contributed their share to Anatolia’s long history of cultural and humanistic greatness. A welcome to all, and tolerance for all, is a belief deeply rooted in the land itself, and in Turkish Society.
The tolerant beliefs of the famous Turkish philosopher Mevlana (Celaleddin Rumi), who lived in Konya during 13th century, symbolize Turkish society’s ideal of tolerance, and still guide people throughout the world today. Mevlana’s philosophy is best illustrated in his own words:
Come, come whoever you are,
An infidel, a pagan or a fire-worshipper, come.
Our convent is not of desperation.
Even if you have broken
Your vows of repentance a hundred times,
Come, come again.
The spirit of Mevlana’s tolerance is shared by all of Turkey’s people today. The great founder of modern Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, expressed the same spirit in his famous motto “Peace at Home, Peace Throughout the World.”
This is the modern Turkey, or Anatolia meaning “Land of the Mother Sun” a place of welcome and peace for all.