On July 24, Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan demonstrated that all ‘speculations’ about the neo-Ottoman project that he’s implementing are no more speculations, but the reality. By Erdogan actions, it becomes clear that the Turkish president positions himslef as the historical leader that restored the Ottoman Empire and once again turned the Hagia Sophia cathedral into a mosque.
President Erdoğan beautifully reciting Surah Baqarah on the first Jummah prayer of Hagia Sophia Mosque. May Allah bless everything this man has done for the Ummah ❤️ pic.twitter.com/I7P1LN86jV
— Yasemin (@yaspsa) July 24, 2020
In an unprecendented move, on July 25 Erdogan even led the first Muslim prayer at the Hagia Sophia. The Turkish president officailly leading prayers in a mosque is something that goes contrary to the principle of the secularism introduced with the 1928 amendment of the Constitution of 1924. The 1928 amendment removed the provision declaring that the “Religion of the State is Islam”, and with the later reforms of Turkey’s first president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, which set the administrative and political requirements to create a modern, democratic, secular state, aligned with Kemalism.
The current Turkish president just demonstrated to the world that the political heritage of Ataturk and his constitution are destroyed. Instread, Erdogan pretends to be not only the official leader of Turkey and the unofficial leader of all Turkic people, but also the spiritual leader of at least Turkic muslims.
Taking into account the relatively successful work to contain the global economic crisis, the COVID-10 outbreak, the Kurdish insurgency and the Turkish ongoing operations in Syria, Iraq and Libya, one may make the conclusion that Erdogan could be a controversial, but pretty effective leader of Turkey. Furthermore, the current developments in Syria, where the country is in fact split among various factions, Ankara has all chances to annex territories in the country’s northwest, first of all the Syrian regions of Afrin and Idlib. These expansionist successes together with a strong position of Turkey in matters involving allied nations (like support to Azerbaijan in the conflict with Armenia or the strengthening relations with Kyrgyzstan) increases the influence and popularity of the Erdogan government in the Turkic world. In general, in recent years, Erdogan looks even more effective than Russian President Putin.
Another message sent by Erdogan on July 24 is that his Turkey is going to provide its own independent foreign and internal policy and further. If Erdogan is able to find and prepare a smart and professional successor, there will be increasing chances that Turkey will become no only one of the regional leaders, but a real global player. These chances will be increasingly high in the event of a possible decline of influence of the United States, Russia and EU states on the international scene.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Turkish President Attends First Official Prayer At Hagia Sophia For Eight Decades (Videos)
- Turkey’s Poisonous Hand Of Friendship