Those who have been following the pronouncements of Erdogan in recent years will be well aware of his frequent references to the Ottoman Empire. It comes as no surprise then that Erdogan’s ultimate aim is to turn modern Turkey into a ‘Caliphate’ by 2023 – exactly 100 years after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk dismantled the Ottoman Empire.
This goal is driving Erdogan’s aim to convert Turkey’s political system into a presidential one. If he succeeds in doing this then, when all power has been rested in his hands, he will easily be able to do away with Turkey’s secular constitution and change the system. However, before he can do that he has a number of obstacles to overcome: 1) the ‘deep state‘ which is staunchly secular and will strongly resist any attempts to change Turkey’s system 2) Turkish nationalists who fervently support Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s vision of a secular Turkey 3) Islamic organisations who consider Erdogan and his AK Party to be corrupt (despite the lip service Erdogan’s pays to religion) and 4) liberal citizens who support democracy and oppose Erdogan’s dictatorial style and policies.
Erdogan has already been demanding allegiance from public figures and suppressing those who have refused his overtures. These acts have been justified by his followers under the pretext that he is a defacto ‘Caliph’ and therefore allegiance to him is mandatory. Those who have refused have had their professional lives ruined and their livelihoods taken away by Erdogan and his mafia style employees.
Erdogan’s vanity project, his 1150 room palace, was built to show the world that he is a worthy successor to the Ottoman Sultans. The rural Turks and those nostalgic for Ottoman ear societies have been hoodwinked into supporting Erdogan’s social engineering project.
Erdogan’s personal ambitions are destroying the country; the economy is faltering, his foreign policy is in ruins and there is no safety for the common citizen anymore. Instead of fantasising about personal power and having continuous dreams of grandeur, Erdogan should do the decent thing and resign from his position to stop the country from heading towards bankruptcy and being destroyed any further. But like all dictators, past and present, he will most likely not give up on his personal ambitions, even at the expense of destroying his own country and people. Erdogan’s dream is turning into a nightmare for Turkey.