TEL AVIV – An Istanbul-based newspaper affiliated with Turkish President Recep Tayyep Erdogan recently published an article calling for the formation of an “Army of Islam” to fight Israel.
The main points of the article were borrowed from a Turkey-based defense consulting firm that was accused by Israel last month of aiding terror group Hamas with the creation of a “Palestine Army” with the aim of destroying the Jewish state, Israeli security authorities said.
The article, entitled “What If an Army of Islam Was Formed against Israel?” was published in Turkish daily Yeni Şafak in December ahead of an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul convened in response to President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The article called on the 57 member states of the OIC to form a joint “Army of Islam” to attack Israel, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which translated the article, said. It noted that such an army will exceed the IDF in terms of manpower, equipment and budget. It also stated that Pakistan, as the only country with nuclear capability, has “a special status” among the OIC countries. An interactive map published on the website also provided information on where the army bases could be and the role they would play in a potential attack on Israel.
“If the OIC member states unite and form a joint military force, it will be the largest army in the world. These countries’ total population is 1,674,526,931. The number of soldiers in active service in these countries is at least 5,206,100. Their [overall] military defense budget of $174,728,420 is also worthy of emphasis,” the article read.
“500 tanks and armored vehicles, 100 war planes, 500 attack helicopters and 50 warships and submarines can be mobilized,” it added.
According to MEMRI, the article sourced a series of essays published on the website of the Turkish SADAT International Defense and Consulting Company, which, in addition to warfare-related consultancy services, provides training and military gear. The essays were authored by SADAT’s director and founder, Erdoğan’s senior advisor on military affairs, retired general Adnan Tanrıverdi.
According to its mission statement, the company seeks “to establish defense collaboration and defense industry cooperation among Islamic countries, to help the Islamic world take its rightful place among the superpowers by providing … strategic consultancy and training services to the militaries and homeland security forces of Islamic countries.”
In February, Israel security sources said that SADAT was involved in aiding Gaza-based terror group Hamas with the purchase of weapons in order to form a “Palestine Army” to fight Israel.
Tanrıverdi’s essays describe Israel as “a dagger in the heart of Islam” and outline his vision of establishing pan-Islamic military bases for the purpose of liberating “Palestine.”
Tanrıverdi also espouses the notion of arming a Palestinian army with tanks and heavy artillery, saying that such a military force, together with a united Army of Islam, can defeat the IDF within 10 days.
The Yeni Şafak article threatened the “occupiers of Jerusalem” saying, “Those who believe that they are the owners of Jerusalem today will not find a single tree to hide behind tomorrow.”