Shared Ideals in Turkey
Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, UPF Secretary General
June 28, 2006
Istanbul or Constantinople was settled as the Roman Empire's capital by Constantine on the Bosphorous, the bridge or crossroads between Europe and Asia. Turkey is a Muslim country, but in the city's midst, as an enclave, is the headquarters of the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church. Here is located one of the greatest cathedrals, turned into a mosque: Hagia Sophia [sacred wisdom], where many early Christian ecumenical councils were convened.
Mother Moon and her son Kook Jin arrived in Istanbul on June 28 and were welcomed by a group that included Ambassadors for Peace, the various leaders of our movement in Turkey, plus Dr. Chang Shik Yang and several Korean War veterans. Turkey was one of the 16 nations that participated in the UN Peace Force during the Korean War, and Dr. Yang has responsibility for Turkey in relation to this group of veterans. Mr. Alireza Alhoui came from the Today’s World Magazine office in Korea, and Mr. Ray Mas came from the World Peace Herald office in Washington, DC. One of the veterans at the airport had a photo album of his time in Korea with many very wonderful and well-preserved pictures.
The main event was attended by 500 people, including many Ambassadors for Peace, Korean War veterans, and other civic, religious and government leaders. In the past, most events in Turkey involved some tension due to the lack of a substantial foundation for our movement in Turkey. However, this time, that gap was very bridgeable.
Kook Jin spoke very dynamically and with his whole heart. Mother Moon was, as she has been so consistently throughout, radiant and effective in communicating both content and heart, truth and love.
Each night the children of Father and Mother Moon -- their son Hyun Jin and his wife Jun Sook in Asia and Eurasia and now their son Kook Jin and his wife Ji Hye, as well as daughter Yeon Jin -- sit attentively and supportively in the audience along with Rev. Chung Hwan Kwak, Jin Man Kwak, and others. In company with everyone else, including Father Moon, they follow the text with Mother Moon as she reads her speech, always learning more.
The audience was very warm, welcoming and very happy to be there. The Korean War veterans added a lot. When Rev. Kwak gave his Chairman’s Address, he acknowledged the veterans and expressed his appreciation for them; they stood and received everyone’s applause.
Many table groups in the audience were made up of members from the same family. As Dr. Walsh went around to tables during the dinner following the event, many introduced him to their husband or wife, their sisters and brothers, their mother and father, etc.
One of the daughters of founding President Kemal Ataturk was in the audience and expressed much appreciation, saying that the speeches of Mother Moon and Kook Jin, “expressed the same ideals and vision that I and my family hold dear.”
Basically all were inspired, appreciative, and eager to continue building the relationship and building a movement.
The following morning Mother Moon reflected on the experiences of people who devoted themselves to God's will and persevered in spite of difficult circumstances. She described the welcome she and Father Moon received from Soviet President Mikhail Gorbchev in 1990 and her recent conversation with India's President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
"In the Middle East, where there is so much conflict, it all goes back to one root," she said. "You are all part of one family. You have been fighting as brothers, because you have not discovered the parents. When the parents come, fighting can cease. This region needs to come alive and end the cycle of conflict. You can be the channel for the spirit world to work. Everything starts with one person. Whether it is a political movement, social movement or religious movement, it starts with one person. If there is just one person through whom God can work, great things can happen."
Singing and dancing concluded the morning gathering. There was both Turkish music and Iranian music. Then Kook Jin sang “Danny Boy.”