Known as a Kemalist and a secular, Dr. Toktamis Ates posed to the cameras, in an Iftar Dinner in 1995, hand in hand with Mr. Fethullah Gülen, which drew harsh criticism of ultra-secularists.
Having written over 30 books, he also wrote columns for the Cumhuriyet daily for more than ten years. He was most recently writing regular columns for the Bugün daily. He was among the recipients of the "Tolerance Award" given by the Journalists and Writers Association in 1996.
Gülen recognized his contribution to dialogue, tolerance and democracy in difficult times in Turkey.
Prof. Ateş , in addition to supporting Gülen movement's activities, wrote a forward to Gülen's book "Love and the Essence of Being Human."
I am deeply saddened to learn about the death of my friend, distinguished scholar and writer Prof. Dr. Toktamış Ateş, an exceptional member of academia and the media, who rendered great services in spreading the understanding of dialogue and tolerance with his brave pen, smiling face, and reconciling personality;
I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to his wife Nevin Hanımefendi and the grieving family, his relatives, friends and students. May God have mercy on his soul."
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