Members of the Turkey Youth Foundation (TÜGVA), an organization affiliated with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son, said in a statement on Friday that the call to prayer is a renewal of the intention to complete the unfinished conquest of Vienna, among other major world cities.
Foundation members in Diyarbakır issued a statement after morning prayer to protest a March 8 feminist march in Istanbul that had previously been targeted by Erdoğan. The president claimed that the participants booed the call to prayer, an allegation denied by participants.
Speaking on behalf of TÜGVA Seher Şenyüz reiterated Erdoğan’s claim and said the women protested the call to prayer on International Women’s Day.
“The call to prayer for us is a renewal of the intention to conquer Rome, New York, Beijing, Tokyo, Moscow, Berlin, Paris and complete the unfinished conquest of Vienna,” the group said in the statement.
The conquest of Vienna is significant in Turkish history since in 1683 the Ottoman Empire failed in its siege of the city, which for many signaled the beginning of the decline of the empire.
Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan sits on the advisory board of the foundation.
In January a report by Sözcü columnist Çiğdem Toker found that the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality had transferred an exorbitant amount of money to foundations run by President Erdoğan’s family members.
The report indicated that the municipality granted TL 74.3 million ($13.9 million) to TÜGVA in 2018 and previous years.