Turkish justice minister: Defending Erdoğan equates to defending Medina

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Abdulhamit Gül

Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül on Sunday said defending President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan against attacks is equal to defending Medina, Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II and Atatürk, DHA reported.

During a speech at a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) meeting in Gaziantep, Gül declared a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 to be “Turkey’s second independence war” after the one led by Atatürk from 1919 to 1922.

“Defending Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is defending Medina, Abdulhamid II, Mustafa Kemal [Atatürk] and national independence,” said Gül.

AKP executive Belma Erdoğan in 2017 said that President and AKP Chairman Erdoğan was a great person sent by God as a hope for the Muslim ummah.

“Our President [Erdoğan] was sent by Allah, a hope for the Muslim ummah. Is there any other option but to follow him and serve his way? No there is not, nor should there be.”

Earlier in 2017, Suat Ünal, a board member of the AKP’s Aydın Efeler branch, shared a message on social media that Erdoğan would be caliph by 2023 and that God would complete the divine light.

Referring to a statement by pro-Erdoğan columnist Abdurahman Dilipak that “Erdoğan will be caliph after he gets his new presidential status. Even the rooms at Aksaray [the Presidential Palace] are ready. The Islamic Union will be established,” Ünal posted on his Facebook page “2023. God will complete the divine light.”

“The caliphate has arrived at the Turkish Parliament. The government has been doing what is needed. If Tayyip Erdoğan switches to a presidential system, he will probably appoint counselors to Muslim territories, to the territories faithful to the caliph. He will also create representative offices of the Islamic Union in Beştepe [the Presidential Palace in Ankara],” said political Islamist Dilipak at a conference in Toronto in 2015.

Fatih Nurullah Efendi, the leader of the Uşşaki sect, said in a speech broadcast by Nurani TV in October 2016 that the Republic of Turkey, which was established in 1920, has ended and that the second Ottoman Empire has become a reality.

“The leader of the second Ottoman Empire is Tayyip Bey [President Erdoğan]. He is our first sultan,” Nurullah Efendi said.

He also claimed that the new state that has been rising after a 100-year hiatus, referring to the Republic of Turkey, would be a continuation of the state established in Medina by the Prophet Muhammad.

AKP government officials have already been under fire for their controversial remarks on religion and their attribution of righteousness to former Prime Minister and current President 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 Kafkaş 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 was a form of prayer, while AKP Düzce deputy Fevai Arslan said Erdoğan had all the attributes of God himself.

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