Tolerance and Cultural Pluralism in Ahmed Yesevî’s Thought System
Sakarya Üniversitesi, Fen Edebiyat Fakültesi, Sosyoloji Bölümü, Sakarya/Türkiye
Keywords: Cultural pluralism, tolerance, unity in diversity, Ahmed Yesevî, Divan-ı Hikmet
Although Anatolian culture has a rich accumulation of values such as pluralism, equality, freedom and tolerance, it is difficult to argue that Turkey’s society and the current political institutions that benefit sufficiently from said accumulation and find solutions to their problems. We can say that the ideal of creating new social constructions caused by historical and social developments such as industrialization, urbanization and specialization by moving away from their own essence and values in this difficulty. In today, discussions on the concept of tolerance used as the Turkish equivalent of the concept of indulgence in the West and the concepts expressed as cohabitation, reconciliation, dialogue, pluralism in a time when factors such as different languages, religions, races, sects, beliefs and gender increase rapidly has gained momentum in Turkey. However, it is seen that the explanations and solution suggestions are handled by moving away from our cultural values, history and social fabric on the basis of reference to western sources. Ahmed Yesevî showed us how to constitute the fundamental premises of the ideal of “unity in diversity”, which has contributed to the integration of Anatolia with the thought system that he based on 3 ages ago. We can see that the Turkish sheikh Ahmed Yesevî, in today’s geography where the ideal of “unity in diversity” can not be achieved, thanks to human love, cultural pluralism and understanding of tolerance, Anatolia has been able to integrate and spread Islam over three continents centuries ago. Mean while, rather than constructing the foundations of the idea of cultural pluralism and tolerance depending on the freedom of the individual in the context of today’s liberal thought tradition, it is an important guide that it maintains a tradition of teaching on the basis of social solidarity in accordance with traditional living conditions and cultures. Unfortunately, he does not sufficiently know the Turkish-Islamic world Sufi scholars and their basic philosophies of life. Whereupon it is significant to evaluate how the understanding of cultural pluralism and tolerance in Anatolia is based on the reference of our own cultural history and social structure by taking the Turkish sheikh Hoca Ahmed Yesevi as a reference. The important thing is to unearth and analyze the peculiar structure of each society’s own problems with a sociological imagination. Therefore, in this article, it is aimed to introduce the thought and philosophy of life of Turkish Sufis Ahmed Yesevî, which has profound effects on the spiritual life of today’s Turkish world. First of all, the life of the Turkish sheikh, Hodja Ahmed Yesevî, the education he received and the social structure of his time will be summarized. Then, the foundation of Hodja Ahmed Yesevî’s thought system and understanding of communication will be discussed in the context of cultural pluralism and tolerance. All of these will be evaluated by taking into consideration his thought system and the socio-cultural structure of the geography he lived.