[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article, Turkey’s Aspirations for a Global Islamic Caliphate, is part four of an exclusive UnityCoalitionForIsrael.org six-part series entitled A History of Jihad by Clare Lopez.
Ms. Lopez is the Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy, a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, and a member of the Board of Advisors for the Canadian Mackenzie Institute. She was a career operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency and has amassed many accolades in the research on and training and reporting about security issues in both media and governmental arenas.
Her latest collaborative effort, the book, Ally No More: Erdogan’s New Turkish Caliphate and the Rising Jihadist Threat to the West features Clare’s research along with luminaries in the security field such as Harold Rhode, Christopher Hull, Daniel Pipes, David Goldman, Burak Bekdil, Uzay Bulut and Deborah Weiss.
Also consider Article 1 – The Formidable Influence of Iran in Worldwide Jihad
Article 2 – The Power of Sanctions Against Iran’s Worldwide Jihad
Article 3 – Israel’s Position in The Jihad Quagmire.]
Turkey’s Aspirations for a Global Islamic Caliphate
A History of Jihad, Article 4 of 6 – by Clare Lopez of CenterForSecurityPolicy.org
And that’s one of the problems with Recep Erdogan, through Turkey, he’s taking the role of a Caliphate-type Muslim leader, is he not, and reintroducing some of these older concepts of Islam and Islamic rule, is that true?
To get to Turkey, let me move then, from the immediate neighborhood around Israel to Turkey.
So, for many centuries, certainly after the land that is today called Turkey was conquered again by the armies of the Muslims, in the early years of the 7th and then into the 8th century, of course, eventually Byzantium, the Christian eastern part of the empire fell with Constantinople, of course, being conquered in 1453. It fell and has been conquered for Islam. Since they were conquered initially by Sunni forces and later on, 1500 or so, re-conquered, with wars back and forth, back and forth. The Persians were conquered by the Sunnis as well and eventually re-conquered by Shi’ites, but as far as Turkey goes, it’s always been a Jihad state ever since it was overrun by Muslims.
There was a respite in the 20th century. There was a break, if you will, in recorded history when, after World War 1, Turkey had been defeated by taking the wrong side in that war but one of their military officers by the name of Mustafa Kemal, eventually he took the name Ataturk, a nickname meaning “father of the turks,” (did) take the power and what was left of sort of the rough state of Turkey we see today. And he decided that one of the reasons that Turkey had been defeated, the Ottoman Empire had been defeated and its land holdings lost, most of them, was because they had not modernized and the West had modernized. And so Kemal Ataturk, as he came to be called, forcibly tried to drag Turkey, kicking and screaming, into the 20th century. He modernized many things: administration and infrastructure and education and all sorts of things, but also imposed secularism of the government and publicly – in the public space.
Now, he succeeded for a time and the army of Turkey actually had to intervene four times in the 20th century to make it stick, but that’s why many of us who were born in the 20th century think of Turkey from that time and think of it as somehow secular. Well it was never secular! The government imposed a secular governance on the people, who were deeply conservative Muslims, by force – under Ataturk and his successors and the Turkish army.
But during that time, underground, in particular, the hinterlands of Anatolia, the people… the Muslim people of Turkey resented that imposition of secularism and modernism. They wanted no part of it! And they actively worked to change that. There were cells and home study circles and things like that where the people were indoctrinated and taught to be good Muslims. Don’t go with this secularization, modernization stuff.
And so, finally, as Erdogan, the current president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, rose to power towards the end of the 1990s, he came up the political system as mayor of Istanbul where, by the way, he did a fairly good job as an administrator and mayor of Istanbul, he later became Prime Minister of Turkey and now, since 2014, he’s the President. He came up through that underground system of learning to resent the Ataturk agenda. He came up taught and mentored by people whose number one objective was to overthrow Ataturk and everything he stood for.
So when Erdogan finally got his chance to come to power, now we see who he really is. He’s a devout, practicing Muslim! And his whole objective is to bring Turkey back to an Ottoman Jihad state! That’s the leadership, including Erdogan, of Turkey today. The officials are openly talking about re-instating Jihad. They’re literally using the word to re-instate Jihad against the Kurds, against Cyprus, against Greece, against the Balkans, even against Austria, if you can imagine. Because the new, young chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz, has closed some mosques and is kicking out some of their Imams.
So Jihad is the word of the day. You can see, already, the offensive operations of Ankara (Turkey) into Syrian battle space, where they claim they’re going after Kurds, of course, because they’ll do anything to prevent a contiguous Kurdish entity from forming, especially anywhere near to the Turkish border, but, by the by, as they are marching (and there are tanks, ground troops & planes of Turkey inside that battle space in Syria right now), they are coming up against, literally, not just Kurdish allies of the United States that we have backed and funded, trained and armed, but United States troops themselves. And so, between what we must call erstwhile NATO allies, Turkey and the United States, relations have gotten very, very bad. It’s not just Israel, which is the United States number one and the most important ally and the only functioning democracy in the region, but it goes a lot more broadly than that against the United States and our national security interests, too.
Turkey is doing all of that over there and is, of course, the home away from home for Hamas officials who have been ousted from Egypt after the military coup d’état of 2013 that brought (with a great deal of popular support, it must be said), but, nevertheless, a military coup that brought Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to power in Egypt, many Muslim Brotherhood figures fled. They found their safe haven and their home away from home, which I’ve called it, not just in Qatar, by the way, in the Persian Gulf, but also in Turkey. That’s the headquarters of Hamas today outside of the immediate Middle East, if you will, outside of Gaza. It’s Turkey. And Turkey is doing everything it can to help and support Hamas against Israel – and that is American national security interests in the region as well.
I could talk more about what Turkey is doing right here in the United States where it is actively, directly collaborating with the United States’ Muslim Brotherhood to spread Jihad and Sharia in America but that’s maybe the topic for another interview. But that is what they’re doing here, as well.
So Turkey can hardly be considered an ally in NATO or of the United States in any way anymore. As a matter of fact, here in the Center for Security Policy which can be found online at CenterForSecurityPolicy.org or a shorter URL is SecureFreedom.org, you can find a whole list of the monographs, books and also papers that we have published here in the center. One of the most recent releases earlier this year is called, Ally No More, and it’s the collective work about 10 different authors, at least. It might even be more than that in the book. And it’s showing what Turkey has become under Erdogan and the AK Party – that is, by the way, the Justice and Development Party – you see those words, you know automatically that is a Muslim Brotherhood party. Those are code words. “Justice” means Sharia law. He founded it, by the way. Erdogan founded that party. And so the book, Ally No More, describes the entire development of the rise of Erdogan, support from Hamas, enmity to Israel, enmity to the United States, collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood and many other things, but Ally No More, is available for your listeners who might be interested.
Clare Lopez’ book, Ally No More: Erdogan’s New Turkish Caliphate and the Rising Jihadist Threat to the West, is available on Amazon here – amazon.com/Ally-No-More-Erdogans-Caliphate
(If you share this article with our sharing tools below, the above image will appear with the link.)