I am the Turkish translator of The Urantia Book. For the past five years I have been living intensively with its teachings. Every day, I experience it in two very different languages. Most of the time I feel that I am not only a reader discovering its meanings for myself, but that I am also something of a guardian of the Book as I transform translate its teachings into another language. It is an unusual feeling altogether, because I am endeavouring to reconstruct the revelation of the Urantia papers in another language by making its meaning as identical as possible to the original source.
A series of interesting happenings brought The Urantia Book to me. I did not come to this book from a Christian background. Religion was always a philosophical debate in my family; however, it was never restricted to any particular theology. Although Islam was dominant in the social culture of my childhood and youth, I early learned from my family to think about God even beyond people’s practiced religions, to rather assess their religions according to their positive and negative aspects. This wisdom, given to me by my single mother as a precious gift in the beginning of my self-formation, lived with me for a long time, and it served its purpose when it directly affected me to choose philosophy as my main interest in life.
During my undergraduate years, in a philosophical conversation on different theologies, one of my foreign friends told me that in Christianity God also means love. Later I asked my best friend about this, and she explained the nature of such love in Jesus’s teachings. After attentively observing my continued interest in this matter, she sent a copy of The Urantia Book to me, saying only that I would find my answers there. From that day forward, I have been living with it, as I said before, in two languages.
The Urantia Book Society of Greater New York deserves high praise in this project’s coming to life. Working with them over this three year period has taught me that all great tasks are accomplished through the honesty, diligence and devotion of all participants in an unbreakable unity. Although it seems that I work alone as the sole translator of The Urantia Book, in reality ten more people unwaveringly contribute to our common cause together with me, to complete the task for which we have all willed. Since the beginning of our project, the continuity of our translations was threatened many times by a lack of financial resources; however, the aforenamed individuals together found a way to bring our cause back to calm waters after each storm, along with the help of our seen and unseen friends. Miraculously, last month, we celebrated our translation of the 1000th page.
We are translating The Urantia Book into a rich and widely used language. As being a strong family member of the Turkic languages, Turkish stands out as one of the most important in Europe and the Middle East. Its importance comes not only from the number of its native speakers within the borders of Turkey or its diaspora groups scattered throughout the world; it derives from its linguistic family. As Turkish can also be partially understood by speakers of the various member languages in its family, it turns out to be a language accessible to over 250 million people.
The prospect of The Urantia Book’s teachings becoming available to such a considerable number of people throughout the distant future makes all of us excited. We are aware of the fact that we do not work on this project for just today or for tomorrow. Instead we want to give this gift to eternity with a humble hope that in the future one day many Turkish speakers will be blessed by reading its teachings. We also recognise certain problems of introducing the Book into non-Western faith cultures; in fact, we experience these recurrently. However, especially in the Turkish case, we deeply believe the existence of abundant possibilities for bridging the predominant beliefs of Turkish people with the wisdom of The Urantia Book. I am even coming to the U.S. this year to present some of these possibilities at IC’14. As I believe that the breadth and depth of Anatolian Sufism and its preeminent place in many individuals’ experiences of God in Turkey can be a perfect rendezvous point at which the Book can interact with God-knowing souls, I want to share my highest hopes on an international platform of The Urantia Book along with the progress of our translation work.
It is my personal wish to spread the word of our important project to all readers. I want all of The Urantia Book readers to hear about our translation, at least to give spiritual support to us in the course of our demanding journey. As we are able to receive only a qualified response and recognition from prospective readers, it is so important for us to be united together with our current readers in promoting the revelation of our book to different peoples and their cultures. I hope we will all grow in unity toward a better future through the wise actions we take for God’s will today.