Chairman of People’s Consultative Rejects Use of Kemal Ataturk as Street Name in Jakarta

Jakarta, MINA – Deputy Chairman of the People’s Consultative Assembly of the Republic of Indonesia (MPR RI) M Hidayat Nur Wahid supports strengthening relations between Indonesia and Turkey. However, Hidayat rejected the discourse of embedding the name of a figure of anti-democracy, Islamophobia, and the father of Turkish secularism; Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, became the name of a street in Jakarta.

Apart from not being compatible with the religious and democratic characteristics of Jakarta and Indonesia, according to Hidayat, the naming of Attaturk as a street in Jakarta is not in accordance (kufu’) with Soekarno’s character who is not anti-Islam, not anti-Arab, religious and not secular, and democratic.

According to Hidayat, if the discourse is presented as diplomatic manners because Turkey has pinned the name of the Indonesian proclaimer, Ahmed Soekarno, as a street in front of the Indonesian Embassy in Ankara, the Indonesian government can propose other names besides Attaturk.

“Those are the names of Turkish figures who are not controversial and present a strengthening of relations because the names are so fragrant that they are accepted by the wider community in Indonesia such as Sultan Muhammad al-Fatih or the Sufi figure Jalaluddin ar Rumi,” he said through a press release in Jakarta on Thursday.

Furthermore, Hidayat said that this issue had become a concern of the wider community, the absolute majority of which said they refused, rationally and argumentatively.

It is noted that the Central MUI Leaders, PP Muhammadiyah, PBNU Secretary General, KAHMI, DKI MUI Chair, Deputy Chairperson of the MPR, BKSAP Chairperson of the DPR RI, Deputy Chair of DKI DPRD from PKS, have expressed their rejection openly.

“In yesterday’s three recess points in South Jakarta and Central Jakarta, I also received the aspirations of three community residents (the RT/RW leaders, the Shubuh Study Leaders and the Betawi Jawara Leaders), who frankly expressed their objections and rejections to the road naming discourse in Menteng Jakarta under the name Mustofa Kemal Ataturk.

The aspirations of many community groups who reject this, of course, have also been read by the Turkish side. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the Government of Indonesia, the Jakarta Provincial Government and the Indonesian Embassy in Ankara,” he said.

All parties in Indonesia said Hidayat supported the strengthening of Indonesia’s relations with Turkey but there are still many names of respected and uncontroversial Turkish figures, and are accepted by Muslims in Indonesia.

“Such as Sulaiman Al Qanuny, Muhammad Al Fatih, or the Islamic poet and Sufi figure who has lived in Turkey for a long time, Jalaluddin Rumi, who can become a node for strengthening relations between the two parties,” he added.

Hidayat explained that naming should indeed be in the context of mutual respect, but it does not have to smell reciprocal.

Morocco, for example, has given the name Soekarno for the road in Rabath, because of their respect for Soekarno’s services to the nations of Asia-Africa, and the Non-Aligned Movement, without asking the name of the King of Morocco to be the name of the street in Jakarta.

In addition, although they both hold the title Father of the Nation, there are deep differences between Soekarno and Ataturk.

“Bung Karno (Soekarno) did not cut the historical roots of the Indonesian nation by imposing an imported ideology. Bung Karno did not secularize Indonesia. He presented Pancasila as the state ideology extracted from Indonesian culture and history. Therefore, in Pancasila there is the YME Godhead. Bung Karno was also not anti-Islam/Arabic, let alone forbidding the reading of prayers and the call to prayer in Arabic and changing them to use Indonesian. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)