While Turkey was going for the elections in May 2023, Hizb ut Tahrir emerged and began to call for a ‘caliphate’. Calls for the caliphate were made at the conferences held in Ankara, Istanbul, Adana and Bursa. Brochures calling for the caliphate have begun to be distributed on the streets of Ankara.
The international pan-Islamist and fundamentalist political organization Hizb ut Tahrir (HuT), banned in almost every Islamic country including Turkey, seems to be freely operating in Turkey without much hindrance.
HuT and its affiliate ‘Radikal Change’ organized a number of public meetings and conferences with the idea of establishing an ‘Islamic Caliphate’. It is worth mentioning that a conference at Ankara titled “Social collapse-problems and solution” was held on December 25, 2022, at the Kocatepe Cultural Center, 1 km from the Turkish Grand National Assembly, indicating that the HuT has the government’s approval for such an agenda.
A conference titled ‘Social collapse-problems and solution’ was organized on January 15, 2023, at Merinos Cultural Center, Bursa. Other conferences since the beginning of 2023, were held at Istanbul (Jan 08) and Adana (Jan 15), professing the establishment of the Caliphate.
Prominent theologians like Abdullah Imamoglu, HuT members including Editor-in-Chief of ‘Radikal Change’ Suleyman Ugurlu, Hizb ut-Tahrir Turkey Media Bureau Head Mahmut Kar, prominent authors and most notably teachers from Presidency-controlled Imam Hatip School have spoken at these conferences.
The speakers profess radical Islam. Theologian Abdullah Imamoglu runs his program ‘Tafsir’ul Furkan’ through a youtube channel where he propagates radical Islam and talks about establishing Caliphate.
The leaflets distributed by organs of Hizb-ut-Tahrir at these conferences and on the streets of Ankara target the Istanbul Convention, women’s associations, secular and mixed education, and the judicial system, while calling for a “caliphate state”.
These conferences have heavy attendance by representatives of the Government affiliated IHH, Red Crescent, Union of Scholars and Madrasas (Ittihadul Ulema), Suffa Foundation, Prophet Lovers Foundation, Hamidiye Foundation, Kalem-Der, Diyanet-Sen, HUDA Party and Refat (Welfare) Party’s.
Many Turks have criticized such conferences and called such by the speakers targeting secular values as a political stunt and polarization backed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Umit Ozdag, leader of the Victory (Zafer) Party strongly criticized such conferences and speakers who want to break the secular fabric of the country and destroy the dream of Kemal Ataturk.
In a video shared on the social media account of Hizb ut Tahrir on February 23, 2021, with the words “Children’s Call for the Caliphate on the 100th Anniversary of the Hijri Fall”, Turkish children used historical names to introduce themselves and then said, “100 years without the Caliphate is enough. O Muslims, we are calling out to you, re-establish the caliphate”.
It may be recalled that Turkey will be celebrating 100 years of its Republic on October 29, 2023. (ANI)