We will commemorate Dec. 17 only with Rumi - Turkish PM

Türkiye Materials 18 December 2014 02:58 (UTC +04:00)
Davutoglu says they will foil all efforts to memorialize the day of Rumi's death as last year's corruption probe against the government
We will commemorate Dec. 17 only with Rumi - Turkish PM

December 17, the date of last year's anti-graft operation, means only Rumi's 'reunion with the Beloved' for us - the term used for his death, Anadolu Agency reported Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's statement.

His remarks coincided with the first anniversary of the launch of the Istanbul-based Dec. 17 broad corruption probe, in which many well-known businessmen, as well as the children of ministers, were taken into custody.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was then prime minister, has accused the anti-graft probe of being a conspiracy against a successful Turkey, targeting neither the Turkish government nor the ruling AK Party, but the country itself.

Erdogan has accused the followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen of being responsible for attempting to overthrow the government, in what he called the Dec. 17 coup. The Gulen movement allegedly has followers embedded in the police and judiciary.

"We will memorialize Dec. 17 only with Rumi," he told the attendees of Wednesday's dinner held at the 741st anniversary of the death of 13th-century Sufi mystic and Islamic scholar Mevlana Jelaluddin al-Rumi.

The dinner was held in Turkey's central Konya province, where Rumi is buried.

To mark the day of Seb-i Arus -- or reunion with the Beloved -- ceremonies are held each year for 11 days in mid-December in Konya where thousands of people gather to see performances by whirling dervishes.

"No matter what kind of actions those who aim to block the reunion of the people with the state will be engaged in on this holy day, it is a lofty duty for us to thwart and disrupt all their attempts," Davutoglu added.

The Turkish premier said such plans failed both during the March 30 local elections and August 10 presidential polls, "thanks to the national will of our people against those who wished to spoil and defame Dec. 17 and dreamt of different anniversaries."

He stressed that no effort to block the national will ever be successful.

Rumi was a prominent 13th century scholar and poet. His Masnavi, an extensive series of poems about being in true love with God, is one of Anatolian culture's most important works.