Fuat Özgür Çalapkulu, the head of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), raised many eyebrows when he tweeted that Turkey, a member of NATO, needs to be ready for ‘Caliph’ Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Now they are saying he cannot be president [under a presidential system]. The Caliph is coming, get ready,” he tweeted.
Sosyal Medya – AKP Siirt İl Başkanı Fuat Özgür Çalapkulu, "Halife geliyor hazır olun" pic.twitter.com/SgGsIGShPt
— TWİTTER GAZETESİ (@TWITERGAZETESI) March 18, 2015
Translation: The AKP chairman says, “The Caliph is coming, get ready.”
Çalapkulu’s account is now protected, which means only his confirmed followers can see his tweets. He sent out the message after Selahattin Demirtas, co-leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, announced his party would not allow Erdogan to become president under a new presidential system.
Erdogan, a Sunni Muslim, has a history of anti-Semitic statements. The term Caliph means “a spiritual leader of Islam who claims succession from Prophet Muhammad.” But terrorist groups like the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and Boko Haram put fear behind the word as they violently attempt to establish their own Caliphate in the Middle East and Africa. To make matters worse, there is documentation of Turkey’s aid to the Islamic State and other terrorists in Syria.
This could also be confirmation for those who fear Erdogan is on the path to a dictatorship, intent on forming another Ottoman Empire. He announced the current parliamentary system inside the country is “a serious hindrance to the government” and wants to change it to a presidential system.
“I believe we need a new constitution and presidential system for the new Turkey,” he declared. “The presidential system is not foreign to our system. The current system does not fit any more.”
When confronted with criticism, he asked if America is a dictatorship since the states have a president. However, America is a Republic, and the president is not supposed to be allowed to do anything without consent from Congress.
But Erdogan’s actions already formed a path to being a dictator. He claims the country enjoys freedom of speech and freedom of the press, but authorities have arrested people for insulting Erdogan and shut down outlets that do not toe the party line.