Erdoğan likens his escape from putschists to Prophet’s protection from enemies

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said just like the Prophet Muhammad was protected by a spider from his enemies who sought to kill him during his migration from Mecca to Medina, he was miraculously protected from putschists on the night of a failed coup attempt on July 15.

Speaking during a live ATV-A Haber joint broadcast on Tuesday night, Erdoğan likened his protection from the putschists to the protection of the Prophet Muhammad from his enemies during his journey from Mecca to Medina.

Erdoğan was on vacation in the western holiday resort of Marmaris when a group of military officers unsuccessfully attempted a coup on the night of July 15.

“[We later learned that] they [the putschists] had come to the Dalaman [airport] before us and examined our plane. Very interesting things took place there, they went into the plane, looked around and left. We were unaware of this at the time. …  Their [putschists] arrival and departure… It was in the Nur Cave, was not it? They [the Prophet’s enemies] are coming, our beloved Prophet is there with [his companion] Abu Bakr Siddiq, but a spider spun a web and the enemies saw it [the web] and said: ‘Since a spider has spun a web here, nobody must have entered,’ and they turned back. Now, when the [putschists] came and saw nobody in the plane, they too turned back,” Erdoğan said.

Justice and Development Party (AKP) government officials frequently attract criticism for their controversial remarks on religion and their attribution of righteousness to Erdoğan.

AKP Deputy Chairman Mustafa Ataş said on March 28, 2016 that President Erdoğan was a blessing from God to the ummah, the worldwide community of Muslims.

AKP Aydın provincial chairman İsmail Hakkı Eser was quoted as saying that he and party sympathizers love Erdoğan so much they think of him “like a second prophet.”

In a similar vein, Deputy Health Minister Agah Kafkas once said: “When we lay the foundation of a [facility], we also provide the date of its opening. This is the sunnah — Muslim practices based on the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad — of Tayyip Erdoğan.”

No government officials or supporters have publicly objected to the statements.

AKP Bursa deputy Hüseyin Şahin is known to have said that touching Erdoğan is a form of prayer, while AKP Düzce deputy Fevai Arslan said Erdoğan has all the attributes of God himself.

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