Caliphate announcement made from Istanbul local municipality vehicle
ISTANBULA man in Istanbul’s Üsküdar has made an announcement from a municipal vehicle, urging people to choose their own caliph and unite under Islam, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Aykut Erdoğdu tweeted on Dec. 14, sharing video of the incident.
Erdoğdu shared on his official Twitter account the video purporting to show an announcement that was being made out of a vehicle belonging to Üsküdar Municipality – a municipality controlled by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) – during which the announcer said, “We should foster the unity of Islam as soon as possible, and we should choose our caliph.”
The announcement, which came during a demonstration against the killing of civilians in Aleppo, further said that if people did not perform “the order of God that calls on them to ‘unite, hold onto God’s rope and not fall separate’ there will be invasion, torture, blood and tears in the Islamic world.”
In his post, Erdoğdu said the incident was a “crime against the constitution.”
The video of the alleged incident lasted for over a minute and included parts in which the preacher defied what he called “infidels, imperialists and Zionists.”
The caliphate, which is based on Islamic governance that dates back to the mid-600s and which was introduced after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, was practiced for centuries under the banner of the Ottoman Empire until being abolished in 1924 with the foundation of the modern and secular Turkish Republic.
Most recently, the head of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared himself caliph.