A Turkish magazine creates controversy after stating it wants ‘Caliphate’ back

Gerçek Hayat, which is owned by the pro-government Yeni Şafak media group, featured a red caliphate flag from the Ottoman Empire on its cover.

A Turkish government-aligned news magazine has set off a debate in Turkey, with its new front page hinting that the time has come for the redeclaration of the Islamic caliphate in the country following the reconversion of Hagia Sophia a mosque.

Celebrations outside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul a few days back after a top Turkish court revoked the sixth-century World Heritage site’s status as a museum and paved way for it to become a mosque. (Ozan Kose/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)

Gerçek Hayat, which is owned by the pro-government Yeni Şafak media group, featured a red caliphate flag from the Ottoman Empire on its cover and asked in Arabic, English, and Turkish: “Get together for the caliphate. If not, now, when? If not you, who?”

The magazine also said Turkey was now free to openly practice Islamic rulings following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s reconversion of Hagia Sophia earlier this month.

People cheer and flash a four-finger sign called “the RABIA/Rabbi’ah sign” as the Turkish president delivers a speech in Istanbul. (Ozan Kose/AFP)

Gerçek Hayat, a pan-Islamist-leaning magazine, has at best 10,000 subscribers. But the cover provoked a response from Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik.

“The Republic of Turkey is a secular, democratic and social state governed by the rule of law,” Çelik tweeted, echoing the Turkish constitution’s first article.

“It is wrong to create political polarisation regarding Turkey’s political regime. Our republic is the apple of our eyes with its all attributions. The unhealthy debate and polarization on social media since yesterday on our political system isn’t on Turkey’s agenda. “

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  • Turkish youth will never ever accept it. This is a recipe for disaster. The Ottoman dynasty is long gone. It will never ever come back. I guess Erdogan wants an Islamic ideal state built on the Islamic Political System.

  • if west could easily derive policy of “western caliphate” e.g new world order…i.e world under one rule…what is is wrong if turkey and their people choose so..its democracy…why west is obsessed with Islam…may muslims may not agree with erdogan ideas, many may like it…but in way why is it problem for west….its west’s “sa called non religious” practices and policies that have created mess all around the world…some are tilting towards religion mainly bcz of injustice and malfunction of flawed western policies and principle…focus on correcting your self…turkey is doing fine..

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