FFWPU Middle East: On July 19 in Turkey, we all traveled to Ankara from Istanbul, a six hour journey, to hold the Peace Road Rally at Abdi Ipekci Park on a sunny Sunday morning. This park was chosen because of the statue of the Praying Hands at the center of the park. This was the third day of Eid, the celebration at the end of Ramadan, and a major holiday for all Muslim countries. Considering that Turkey is 99% Muslim, because of the major holiday, it was difficult to have the participation of our ambassadors for peace and other high officials. Although this was a challenge we could still hold a successful event.
Centered on the theme, “Turkey, bridging the East and West,” we began with a moment of silence for all those that died for peace, after which we sang the Turkish National Anthem. The park was full of families celebrating the holiday and many stopped to join us and listen to the speeches. Over 80 people participated and we were able to distribute over 60 copies of “A Peace Loving Global Citizen” translated into the Turkish language.
Mrs. Handan Uncu Ito was the Master of Ceremonies. Mrs. Khadija Hatice Kunt, director of an active local NGO, Kuntlar, was the one to read the press release and explain the importance and meaning of the Peace Road Rally. After that, Mr. Umberto Angelucci, Regional President – UPF, gave some inspiring words about the vision of peace beginning in the individual and spreading to the family and eventually to a world of peace.
After the speeches we had a group photo and we signed the Peace Road Map. As we finished this part of the program all participants joined us in a 3 km walk that circumnavigated the park seven times.
We were happy to receive the Chief of Foreign Relations and Protocol from the Turkish War Veterans Association HQ in Ankara. He was happy to be with us in this project to support peace in Korea and the world.
There were Ankara Security Intelligence sent by the government to investigate and monitor our event. This is the usual custom for all demonstrations and rallies; the government wants to monitor all public activities because of the tension in the area. There were about 15 men who stayed for our program and participated attentively. They were very moved from our words and deeds and said they felt like real family at the end of the program.
One of the Security, Intelligence Ankarae said, “Normally we take information and research the organization we are watching. We also researched Sun Myung Moon and we have information from 1972 about your activities in Turkey. Now I can say that from my heart I believe in what you are doing and I want you to know that from now on you have our full support and help in whatever way you need.
Four of my men are reading the Autobiography of Sun Myung Moon, as part of our investigation, that you gave us. They are highlighting the main points and in one day have reached the 100th page. They have found that Dr. Moon is so extreme and unbelievable. It is so unbelievable that one man could do so much and that the potential he has we can see that he is using for the highest goodness.”
Because of this Peace Road World Rally inspired by our True Mother we experienced a sense of rebirth for all the Turkish members, especially those that had been more inactive recently received new life elements. From the heart of the resurrected members, they suggested to pray and make a new determination as a Turkish movement.