The Turks made their mark on history after becoming Muslim. They became a major actor in history, changing its course after embracing Islam. They influenced not only Turkish or Islamic history but also the direction and orbit of world history.
However, history cannot be made in someone else's shadow. Before becoming Muslim, the Turks founded great empires, but they could not occupy a position to shape the flow of world history. Their pre-Islamic history is a history made almost concurrently with the Chinese. At times, they invaded and ruled China, but they could not develop a culture like Chinese culture.
It is evident that during this period, the Turks lived in the shadow of China. They became Sinicized. Later, they will become Mongolized. It is necessary to acknowledge that the Turks did not have a primary and creative culture that could change the course of human history before Islam. They mostly fed on other cultures, took inspiration from them, and synthesized them.
It is also necessary to emphasize that the Turks became Sinicized under the influence of China, Mongolized under the influence of the Mongols, and are now Westernized for two centuries, in a watery way. Therefore, they could not sustain their existence and identity both ethnically and culturally.
In particular, the expression "shadow of China" is enough to explain what I mean: We need to look at Chinese archives to examine Turkish history more deeply. The Chinese made history because they have a strong tradition of science, state, bureaucracy, powerful belief and value system.
The stronger your culture, the more solid your means of expression and your ability to intervene in history permanently and rootedly.
I will say that Chinese culture is among the primary cultures. Pre-Islamic Turkish culture is a secondary culture, shaped or built under the influence or in the shadow of other cultures.
The Chinese do not look at Turkish archives, but the Turks look at Chinese archives to see their history. Let us accept this fact. Secondly, the Turks are so deeply influenced by the culture whose orbit they have entered that it will erode their ethnic characteristics and culture over time.
Islam has changed all of this shadowy history and the history that had developed in the shadows of others: when the Turks embraced Islam, they quickly established themselves in a position to shape both Islamic history and world history.
Secondly, it is only after encountering Islam that the Turks are able to preserve their ethnic and cultural characteristics and to nourish themselves in creative ways filtered through revelation from their pre-Islamic histories.
Only after becoming Muslims, the Turks are not satisfied with Chinese culture; they get in touch with all the world's founding cultures and borrow strong civilization values and dynamics from them. They have direct contact with Greek, Iranian and Indian cultures and, in the light of the founding and positioning dynamics of Islam, they have the opportunity to establish fruitful, profound contacts and build combinations with these world cultures.
The Turks' nomadic culture, which gave them dynamism and inexhaustible features, became a decisive role in their leading role in the spread of Islam from one end of the world to the other. The state of Jihad and campaign, known as the Nizam-i Alem, became the dynamo of the Turks' historical march.
Islam gives the Turks a tremendous spirit: the creative spirit. The realization of this spirit and its embodiment in flesh and bones allows the inherent qualities of the Turks' nomadic culture, their dynamism and inexhaustible traits to develop a foundational will in them.
If we follow Ibn Khaldun's conceptual map... Islam becomes the source of the Asabiyyah, the cause that mobilizes the Turks' creative spirits. The foundational axis of the Turks' will, which is bestowed upon them by the dynamism and inexhaustible traits of their nomadic cultures, constitutes the source of their lineage.
As soon as the Turks' relationship with Islam began to be distorted, they lost both of these axes. We see that during the two centuries of Westernization, the Turks began to lose their creative spirits, and later they could not escape losing their foundational will.
In summary... Islam constitutes the creative spirit of the Turks; the dynamism and inexhaustible quality conferred by their nomadic culture constitute their foundational will.
Since Tanzimat, we have lost our direction, distorted our relationship with Islam, and lost our creative spirit. With Meşrutiyet and the Republic, we lost our orbit and our foundational will.
That is why for two centuries, we have been pushed out of history: our Westernization history turned us from an actor that made history to a supporting actor merely being dragged into the history made by the West.
Our experience with radical modernization/Westernization/secularism in the history of the Republic is not the cause but the result: we have been dragging the root causes of the problem since the Tanzimat period.
The question at hand is whether a society that has lost its direction and trajectory can prevent its soul from fading away and avoid the brink of being erased from history. The answer, unfortunately, is no.
Maintaining one's direction and trajectory is equivalent to breathing, or in other words, living. Protecting one's trajectory means that you are also providing oxygen to others, thus enabling them to live. And safeguarding one's soul is like being a living breath, shaping history with one's actions.
Türkiye is rapidly approaching the edge of extinction after two centuries of westernization: even if we were to come to power with a majority of 60% or 70%, if we are unable to produce our own culture and if we lose our creative spirit and our children, we will inevitably lose our founding spirit, and as a result, lose our country within two generations - God forbid! Let this be a warning from me.