When I check my mailbox, there are at least 278 offers in it to interview Mr. Adnan Oktar, a ‘prominent Muslim scholar’ who is mainly known as a Muslim creationist.
Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit, there aren’t that many, but Adnan Oktar is exaggerating too: according to the information I got from his PR lady, he has written over 250 books. What happened to ‘less is more’? Last week I was invited to an iftar meal with him, along with other members of the foreign press, and for one minute I considered going, because location-wise he was also overdoing it: he chose the Ciragan Palace, the most luxurious hotel in Istanbul, where I sometimes sip an overpriced glass of wine on the terrace overlooking the Bosporus, but where I could never afford dinner. Well, I didn’t go in the end, as I didn’t feel like spending my evening listening to a long speech about creationism, in which I don’t believe.
Mr. Oktar is also finding other ways of going too far. He is rather good at getting the courts to close down websites that ‘insult’ him in any way. This week, the website of the education union, Egitim Sen, was blocked because it published a press statement about one of Oktar’s books on creationism, which had been sent to schools around Turkey for free. He also managed to block the website of evolutionist author Richard Dawkins, and the previous ban on WordPress, now lifted, was also initiated by this man. All the efforts made by his PR lady to convince me that Mr. Adnan Oktar is a very wise man are pointless to begin with. It’s okay to believe in creationism, believe whatever you want, but really, don’t go to extremes.