Tel Aviv [Israel], August 3 (ANI): Ever since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reconsecrated the Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO world heritage site and museum, as a mosque, critics have questioned whether the move is a long-running attempt to undo Turkish secularism or an effort to bring caliphate back.
Frontier Alliance International (FAI) mission President Dalton Thomas said Erdogan is openly calling for the re-establishment of the Islamic State.
"The President of Turkey is openly calling for the re-establishment of the Islamic State, the restoration of its ancient borders and the conquest of Jerusalem. When the world wakes up from the corona hangover, we will face the resurrected Caliphate," Thomas tweeted.
Last month, Erdogan controversially declared the nearly 1,500-year-old monument open to Muslim worship after a top court ruled the building's conversion to a museum by modern Turkey's founding statesman in the mid-1930s was illegal.
In a recent speech, Erdogan said the "resurrection of Hagia Sophia" represents "the footsteps of the will of Muslims across the world to come out of the interregnum," and the "reignition of the fire of hope of not just Muslims, but ... of all the oppressed, wronged, downtrodden and exploited."
Thomas described the development as crushing and destruction of the secularist Turkey.
"This is an Islamic revival taking place inside Turkey. This is the crushing, destruction, dismantling and the deconstruction of secularist Turkey moving the country back to its original formation as an Islamic state that controls the middle east," Thomas said, in a video on FIA youtube page.
Caliphate is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph.
For 400 years, from 1517 to 1924, the caliph sat in Istanbul, before the position was abolished by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, according to The Washington Post.
Though democratically elected, Erdogan has behaved in an increasingly autocratic fashion and has little patience for European-styled secularism as envisaged by Ataturk.
Thomas said the FAI has been very critical of both the Obama administration and the Trump administration for the empowering and tolerance of Turkish expansionistic ambitions in the middle east that for all intents and purposes is jihad.
"There are people in very influential positions in the US state department who are very loyal to Turkish regional ambitions in the middle east for their own personal gain. This is a significant problem," he said.
"We have been very critical of both the Obama administration and now the Trump administration for their empowering and tolerance of Turkish expansionistic ambitions in the middle east that for all intents and purposes is jihad," he added. (ANI)