In Selected Opinion


Erdoğan’s Chief Advisor And Former General Tanrıverdi Presents Vision – Reflected In Turkey’s Policy – Of A United Islamic Superpower Based On Shari’a Comprising 61 Countries And With Istanbul As Capital.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s chief advisor, retired Turkish general Adnan Tanrıverdi, has been articulating a vision of a unified Islamic superpower through conferences and documents published by his organizations. This vision is reflected in President Erdoğan’s foreign policy.

The Justice Defenders Strategic Studies Center (ASSAM), of which Tanrıverdi is chairman of the board, has scheduled seven annual “congresses,” of which three have taken place, to work through the technical problems in the formation and governance of an “Islamic union.”[1] At a recent ASSAM Congress, Tanrıverdi called for the coordination of the joint manufacturing of weapons and military equipment among Islamic countries, saying: “States cannot stand tall against the countries whose weapons they use.” ASSAM has also published a 69-page draft of a constituion for a planned shari’a-based confederation of 61 Islamic countries. This constituion declares that “sovereignty belongs to shariah,” that Istanbul is to be the capital of the confederation, that the Arabic language would be taught in all of its schools, and that its name will be “Asrica,” which is formed from a combination of Asia and Africa.

Tanrıverdisecond from right, in a meeting of the most senior Turkish officials ahead of a major military operation in January 2018.

Tanrıverdi is also chairman of the board of Turkish defense contracting firm SADAT Inc., on whose website Tanrıverdi has posted statements. One recent statement reads: “The welfare of Turkish and Muslim nations and the establishment of peace and justice in the world hinges upon appearance of the Islamic countries as a superpower on the global political scene.”[2] He has also said that “the Islamic world should prepare an army for Palestine from outside Palestine” while SADAT Inc. has published material outlining the logistics of a hypothetical joint attack on Israel by 57 Islamic countries.[3] A page on SADAT Inc.’s website states that “SADAT A.S. was in Libya to determine the needs of New Libyan Armed Forces and search for possibilities for Consultancy, Training, Ordnance service delivery for Libya” and shows a photo of Tanrıverdi shaking hands with a Libyan military officer as the two hold a plaque of the Ottoman Coat of Arms.

Tanrıverdi, on a visit to Libya, shakes hands with a Libyan military officer as the two hold a plaque bearing the Ottoman Coat of Arms.


Tanrıverdi listed, in an undated video, some of the military policies that he had put forward that Turkey’s ruling AKP government later enacted.[4] Indeed, much of President Erdoğan’s foreign policy can be viewed as an implementation in stages of Tanrıverdi’s vision. This would explain President Erdoğan’s: deployment of Turkish troops to Libya, which began in early January 2020, and which one pro-government daily celebrated in historical terms, saying: “100 years later the troops returned to the region;”[5] policy of arming and training the forces of the pro-Islamist Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya;[6] efforts to create a coalition between his government and those of Tunisia, Algeria, and the GNA;[7] deployment of armed drones to northern Cyprus;[8] three invasions of northern Syria, most recently beginning in October 2019;[9] establishment of a military base housing Turkish soldiers in Qatar;[10] establishment of Turkey’s largest foreign military base in Somalia;[11] and possible covert weapons shipments to Nigeria.[12] One Turkish writer connected Tanrıverdi’s influence to Erdoğan’s statement at the recent opening of the new building of Turkey’s national intelligence service, the Milli İstihbarat Teşkilatı (MİT) in which Erdoğan said: “We will continue to increase MİT’s operational capability abroad while decreasing its duties inside the country.”[13]

An intention to put Tanrıverdi’s vision into practice would also explain President Erdoğan’s: political maneuvering for leadership within the Islamic world, such as through the December 2019 summit in Kuala Lumpur between President Erdoğan, Iranian President Hassan Rohani, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Aal Thani, and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad;[14] military cooperation with Pakistan, including joint drills, military grants and supply of parts for military equipment to Pakistan, and the Pakistani purchase of 30 Turkish-made ATAK helicopters and four Turkish-made corvette-type MILGEM warships;[15] expansion of Turkey’s domestic arms industry and arms exports; activities using the Turkish diaspora in Europe and elsewhere, including Turkish government-employed imams accused of spying, and the construction of over 100 mosques abroad;[16] and efforts through diplomacy, NGOs, conferences, slogans, media outlets, and, in the case of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan, military cooperation to create strong relations with and among countries that speak Turkic languages. These efforts have included the establishment of a Turkic Council.[17]

Following public debate and backlash about comments that Tanrıverdi made at the third ASSAM Congress, which took place on December 19-21, 2019, relatıng to the coming of the Mahdi, he resigned from his position as Erdoğan’s chief advisor on January 8, 2020.[18] He said at the third ASSAM Congress, discussing the need to form an Islamic confederation: “When will the Mahdi come? Allah, the Exalted, knows. Do we not have work [to do]? Do we not need to prepare the setting?” Many opposition newspapers responded to these statements and Tanrıverdi’s other publications. Leading opposition daily Cumhuriyet published an article titled: “They Really Wanted An ‘Islamic State’!”[19]

This report will review some of Tanrıverdi’s recent and past statements, including those from before and during the third ASSAM Congress, and a statement posted on the website of SADAT Inc. The report will also review a draft constitution, which ASSAM published on its website, for a planned shari’a-based confederation of 61 Islamic countries.


Tanrıverdi In Interview Ahead Of ASSAM Congress: “The Total Defense Industry Spending Of The Islamic World… Ranks Third In The World After America And China… When You Combine Them, It Has The Potential To Be A Superpower”

In a clip uploaded to YouTube on December 20, 2019, Tanrıverdi said: “It is not correct to claim that countries that are not independent in their defense and in their defense industry are independent… For this reason, our defense industry, in the Islamic world, must be produced jointly. When we look at the total number of tanks, artillery, and ships today in the Islamic world, they are in the first order in the world. If [the Islamic world] produces these themselves, it will become powerful… Is there going to be an Islamic union? There will be. How will it happen, when will it happen? When the Mahdi comes, we trust Allah.[20] When will the Mahdi come? Allah, the Exalted, knows. Do we not have work [to do]? Do we not need to prepare the setting? This is what ASSAM is doing. After this setting is prepared, inshallah, there will be an Islamic union.”[21]

Adnan Tanrıverdi speaking at the third ASSAM Congress in December 2019.

In an interview uploaded to YouTube on December 14 and accompanied by Arabic and English subtitles, apparently to promote the third Assam Congress internationally, Tanrıverdi described how the theme of the second ASSAM Congress had been creating economic cooperation throughout the Islamic world, including with a shared currency. He further said: “The main theme of the [third] congress is to explore the capabilities and possibilities in manufacturing the joint defense industrial products and to find out how to jointly produce a defense industry.” He said: “If the countries are not independent in their defense industries, then it is pointless for them to claim that they are independent, because you cannot open a campaign against someone or stand up to them using their weapons, you have to produce your weapons yourselves…”

“The Islamic world is capable of this,” he continued. “The world’s annual defense industry spending is about one trillion 800 billion dollars. About 716 billion dollars of this belongs to the United States. About 220 billion belongs to China. The total defense industry spending of the Islamic world is 196 billion dollars. It ranks third in the world after America and China. These are of course individual expenses. When you combine them, it has the potential to be a superpower. This power can emerge if [the Islamic countries] produce it themselves through cooperation and joint action.”[22]

“By Unifying The Administration Of A Modern State With Islamic Fiqh [Jurisprudence], What Would A Union Of Islamic Countries Look Like?”

In a video uploaded to YouTube on December 13, which featured another section of the same interview with Tanrıverdi shown in the video uploaded December 14 and which did not have Arabic and English subtitles, Tanrıverdi discussed the coming of the Mahdi and the forming of a union of Islamic countries. He said: “When we ask: ‘Will there be an Islamic union?’ [We can say:] There will be. When we say: ‘When will it be, how will it be?’ [We can say:] When the Mahdi comes. When will the Mahdi come? Allah, the Exalted, knows. When you say: ‘So, do we not have something that we need to do by then?’ There is no answer. For a union, for an Islamic union, under today’s conditions, by unifying the administration of a modern state with Islamic fiqh [jurisprudence] what would a union of Islamic countries look like? We are working on this…”


“We planned seven conferences,” Tanrıverdi continued. “We have carried out two of them, we will carry out one of them now… How may there be a joint-defense system of Islamic countries? This is a subject of a conference. Also, how may the justice system of Islamic countries be? This is a subject of a conference. That’s two. The third is: How may there be joint internal security? And the fourth is: How may the foreign relations be? After this is completed, it will be the year 2022. When our seven congresses are completed, a model of the Islamic union, with four main areas of activity administered from the center, will come out.”[23]

Of the seven annual congresses that ASSAM has scheduled, three have taken place. The November 2017 ASSAM Congress focused on “the Legislation on Management Figures And Organs for the Islamic Union.” The November 2018 Assam Congress focused on the “Principles And Procedures of Economic Cooperation for the Islamic Union.” The December 2019 Assam Congress focused on the “Principles And Procedures of Defense Industry Cooperation for the Islamic Union.” Congresses scheduled for 2020-2023 will address the issues of: “Common Defense,” “Joint Foreign Policy,” “Joint Justice System,” and “Common Assistance And Security.” The November 2017 congress was held in cooperation with the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), among other groups.[24] The final congress is scheduled to take place in 2023, which is the 100th anniversary of the founding the republic of Turkey. President Erdoğan has made 2023 an important symbolic milestone in various ways, including through setting national goals as part of the Strategic Vision 2023 Project.[25]

Tanrıverdi Presents ASSAM’s Influence On AKP Government, Listing Policies That It Recommended That Were Later Implemented

Tanrıverdi said in a speech at the third Assam Congress: “One of the requirements for a country to be an independent and sovereign power is for the weapons they use to belong to them. National interests cannot be protected with the weapons of others. States cannot guarantee the security, peace, and prosperity of their countries with the weapons of others. They cannot be counted as sovereign in their countries with the weapons of others. States cannot stand tall against the countries whose weapons they use.”[26]

Tanrıverdi is chairman of the board of ASSAM. The countries marked in green in the ASSAM and SADAT Inc. logos roughly correspond with the 61 countries counted as part of the planned Islamic confederation.

In another video that shows Tanrıverdi’s weight within Turkey’s ruling AKP government, Tanrıverdi described his influence on the restructuring of the military following the July 15, 2016 attempted coup in Turkey. He said in the undated video: “We said that all of the Warfare Schools and Military Schools should be connected to the Defense Ministry, and then they were connected. We said that the General Staff of the Gendarmerie General Command should be connected to the Interior Ministry, and [then] they were connected. We said that the Supreme Military Council should be changed, we said that the High Military Judiciary be abolished; those were done too. We said the presidential system should come, and it came. Almost all of these proposals of ours came in the restructuring after July 15, [2016].”[27]

Statement On SADAT Inc. Website: “The Unity Of The Islamic Countries Depends On The Leadership Of Turkey,” Which, In Turn, “Depends On The Ability To Render The National Will Dominant Over All The Institutions Of The State”

In addition to being Erdoğan’s chief advisor, Tanrıverdi is chairman of the Board of Directors of Turkish defense contracting firm SADAT Inc. In a statement titled “The Future Of The World Of Islam And SADAT INC.” posted on SADAT’s website, Tanrıverdi gave his view of the events of the 20th century as well as Turkey’s role in them and described the need to establish a union of Islamic countries.

Tanrıverdi is chairman of the board of SADAT Inc.

Regarding the United Nations, Tanrıverdi wrote that the UN was in fact a way for the West to maintain a “system of exploitation” and that “Israel has been supported as the watchman of the Christian World and protected by all organizations including the UN under the control of the West.” Tanrıverdi made the case for a union of Islamic countries, saying that these countries have been unable to create ” an alliance and gaining the power they deserve” nor “save themselves from the control of the West.”

Openly opposing the secular principles on which the modern Republic of Turkey was founded, Tanrıverdi wrote that following the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, the government “considered the Islamic religion, Islamic values and the civilization they represent as a threat on the assumption that it is impossible to reach up to the level of developed states without changing the society with socio-cultural revolutions. Turning face towards the west by presenting the image of Western civilization as the ultimate goal to be achieved, our country turned its back on the Islamic States and the Muslim nations and was estranged from the Islamic world. Acting under the control of the West for a century, our country has been skeptical of Islamic States, seeing them as a threat.”

Laying out the prerequisites for an Islamic union, which he also described in his interviews around the time of the third Assam Congress, Tanrıverdi wrote: “The unity of the Islamic countries depends on the leadership of Turkey; and the leadership of Turkey on the Islamic countries depends on the ability to render the National Will dominant over all the institutions of the State.

Describing Muslim-majority countries and the difficulties they face, Tanrıverdi said: “They need solidarity and fair guides. They need economic cooperation and support, guidance in foreign policy, cooperation in defense against exploiters, and alternative systems of justice against violation of rights arising from their own countries and third countries. The welfare of Turk and Muslim Nations and restoration of peace and justice in the world hinge upon the appearance of Islamic Countries as a super power on the global political scene.”[28]

“Constitution Of The Confederation Of Islamic Countries” Published On ASSAM Website: “Sovereignty Belongs To Shariah”

The website of the ASSAM Congress published a 69-page document titled “Constitution Of The Confederation Of Islamic Countries.” The page on which the document was published was last modified on October 23, 2018. The document drafts, in 182 articles, the constitution for the planned confederation of 61 Islamic countries.[29]

Fundamental Aim Of “Asrica Islamic Countries Union,” Which Comprises 61 Countries And Whose Capital Is Istanbul, Is “Ensuring The Islamic World To Be Seen On The Scene Of History Again As A Supreme Power”

The planned confederation of Islamic countries would include: 12 countries in the Middle East, namely Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan, and Yemen; eight in “Middle Asia,” namely Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan; four in the “Near East,” namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, and Pakistan; three in Southeast Asia, namely Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia; six in North Africa, namely Algeria, Chad, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia; six in “East Afrika (Red Sea Basin),” namely Djibouti, Eritrea, “Comor [likely Comoros],” Mozambique, Somalia, and Sudan; ten in northwest Africa and South America, namely the Western Sahara, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Guyana, and Suriname; eight in “Southwest Africa (Ocean Basin),” namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Elephant Coast, Gabon, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo; and four in Europe, namely Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Macedonia.

Article 1 of the constitution gives the name of the state as “Asrica Islamic Countries Union.” Asrica is a name formed by the combination of Asia and Africa, continents on which many of the countries in the planned confederation are found. Article 6 indicates that the capital of the state is Istanbul, Turkey. Article 7 reads: “The fundamental aim of ASRICA Islamic Countries Union is to safeguard the independence and integrity of the Muslim Nations, the indivisibility of the National and Islamic States… while also ensuring the Islamic World to be seen on the scene of history again as a supreme power.” At the end of the document are listed the following names: Adnan Tanrıverdi, Mehmet Zelka, Gürcan Onat, Ali Coşar, Ersan Ergür, M. Naci Efe, Reşat Fidan, A.K. Melih Tanrıverdi, Sabri Balaman, and Ali Fuat Gökçe.

Constitution Repeatedly Emphasizes Primacy Of Shari’a, Quran, And Sayings And Deeds Of Muhammad: “Sovereignty Belongs To Shariah”

The preamble of the constitution declares in the first sentence that the constitution is based on shari’a. It reads: “Affirming the eternal existence of the Islamic Countries existence and the indivisible unity of the Sublime Confederal Republic State, this Constitution, in line with the concept of ummah introduced by Qur’an and Our Prophet sunnas [i.e., the sayings and deeds of Muhammad]…” The preamble puts “liberal democracy” alongside a second mention of the “Qur’an and Our Prophet sunnas,” saying: “The absolute supremacy of the will of the nation, the fact that sovereignty is vested fully and unconditionally in the Islamic Countries in line with the Qur’an and Our Prophet sunnas and that no individual or body empowered to exercise this sovereignty in the name of the nation shall deviate from the liberal democracy indicated in the Constitution and the legal system instituted according to its requirements.”

Article 8 reads: “Sovereignty belongs to Shariah. It shall be exercised through the authorized organs, as prescribed by the principles set forth in the Constitution. Sovereignty shall not be constituted without the Shariah provisions.” Article 9 describes “Legislative power that is in line with the Shariah provisions.” Article 11 reads: “The Judicial power shall be exercised independent and impartial courts in accordance with the Shariah provisions.” Article 12 reads: “Muslim and non-muslim citizens of ASRICA Islamic Countries Union, Regional Federations and National States shall benefit from Shariah Law. Non-muslim citizens shall exercise their religios activities and prays to the extent as permitted by the shariah provisions, while for their foods, clothes, marriage and divorce matters, the provisions of their own religions shall apply.”

Article 13 reads: “The provisions of the Constitution, stipulated in accordance with Shariah Provisions, are fundamental legal rules binding upon legislative, executive and judicial organs, and administrative authorities and other institutions and individuals for ASRICA Islamic Countries Union, Regional Federations and National States. Laws shall not be contrary to the Shariah Provisions and Constitution.” Article 14 reads: “The individual rights and duties, social and economic rights and duties, political rights and duties shall be regulated by ASRICA Islamic Countries Union, Regional Federations and national states in accordance with Qur’an, Our Prophet’s sunnas and universal codes of law. No regulation shall be applied as contrary to these rules.” Article 16 reads: “None of the rights and freedoms embodied in the Constitution shall be exercised in the form of activities aiming to violate the indivisible integrity of the ASRICA Islamic Countries Union State with its territory and nation, and the Shariah provisions.”

Article 69 reads: “The statutes and programs, as well as the activities of political parties shall not be contrary to the shariah provisions, independence of the State, indivisible integrity of the state and the ummah with its territory and nation, human rights, the principles of equality and rule of law, equality and Islamic country principles.”

Several articles in the constitution require government officials to take oaths that invoke the Quran as well as the sayings and deeds of Muhammad. Article 82 reads: “State Presidents and Council Members, on assuming office, shall take the following oath ‘I swear upon my honour and integrity before the great Qur’an to safeguard the Islamic Unity, to remain loyal to Qur’an and Sunnas, to ensure divine justice and its continuation in Islamic Geography at the cost of my life, to remain loyal to State President and the respective law.'”

Article 110 reads: “On assuming office, the President of the Confederal Republic shall take the following oath before the Confederal Assembly: ‘I swear upon my honour and integrity before the great Qur’an to safeguard the Islamic Unity, to remain loyal to Qur’an and Sunnas, to ensure divine justice and its continuation in Islamic Geography at the cost of my life, to remain loyal to State President and the respective law, to abide by the Constitution, the rule of law with loyalty, not to deviate from the ideal according to which everyone is entitled to enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms under conditions of national peace and prosperity of ummah and in a spirit of national solidarity and justice, and do my utmost to preserve and exalt the glory and honour of the Confederal Republic and perform without bias the functions that I have assumed.'” Article 120 requires the President of the Regional Federal Republic to take the same oath upon assuming office before the Federal Assembly.

Several articles describe a “Council of Religious Affairs.” Article 105 reads: “The Confederal Republic shall establish a ‘Council of Religious Affairs in Religious Federal Republics and National States’, each.” Article 108 reads: “High Council of Religious Affairs and Council of Religious Affairs shall assess the conformity of bills of laws, the laws introduced by the Plenary of Assembly, the decisions of Republic and State Presidents with the principles of Shariah Evidences, and shall notify the Republic and State Presidencies, Speakership with regards to their assessments.”

Article 26 describes the teaching of religion and “morals” in the schools of the confederation: “Religious and moral education and instruction shall be conducted under state supervision and control. Instruction in religious culture and morals shall be one of the compulsory lessons in the curricula of primary and secondary schools.” Article 44, which describes the “right and duty of education” reads: “The native language shall be taught as a mother tongue to Confederal Republic citizens at any institution of education. Arabic shall be taught as the second language.”

Constitution Lays Foundation For Powerful State That Can Punish Writers Over News Articles, Seize And Suspend Publications, Dissolve Associations, Restrict Demonstrations, And Nationalize Private Enterprises

Regarding the freedom of the press in the planned confederation, Article 30 reads: “Anyone who writes any news or articles which threaten the internal or external security of the State or the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and nation, which tend to incite offence, riot or insurrection… shall be held responsible under the law relevant to these offences… Periodical and non-periodical publications may be seized by a decision of a judge in cases of ongoing investigation or prosecution of crimes specified by law… Periodicals published may be temporarily suspended by court ruling if found to contain material which contravenes the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and nation, the fundamental principles of the Republic, national security and public morals.”

On protesting, Article 35 reads: “Associations may be dissolved or suspended from activity by the decision of a judge in cases prescribed by law.” Article 36 reads: “The right to hold meetings and demonstration marches shall be restricted only by law on the grounds of national security, public order, prevention of commission of crime, protection of public health and public morals or the rights and freedoms of others.” Article 37 reads: “Everyone has the right to own and inherit property. These rights may be limited by law only in view of public interest.” Article 49 reads: “Private enterprises performing services of public nature may be nationalized in exigencies of public interest.”

The constitution gives the planned state influence on the families of its citizens in Article 43, which reads: “Family is the foundation of the Islamic society and based on the equality between the spouses. The State shall take the necessary measures and establish the necessary organization to protect peace and welfare of the family, especially mother and children, and to ensure the instruction of family planning and its practice.”


Opposition MP Questions Vice President On Tanrıverdi And His Institutions

On January 9, after Tanrıverdi’s resignation, Yasin Öztürk, an MP from the opposition İYİ Parti, presented in parliament a resolution of questions about Tanrıverdi and the ASSAM Congresses to Vice President Fuat Oktay. Öztürk said that the congress was organized with the support of many government offices, including the Greater Bursa Municipality and the mayorial offices of the districts of Bahçelievler, Beyoğlu, Esenler, Sancaktepe and Sultangazi. He said the congress was also organized with the support of:  Turkish Airlines; Makina ve Kimya Endüstrisi Kurumu (“Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation,” MKEK), which is a group of government-controlled factories that produce weapons, ammuniation, explosive materials, machines, and equipment for civilian and defense purposes for the government;[30] ASELSAN, a large Turkish defense electronics company, 74.2% of whose shares are owned by the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation, which was established by Law No. 3388 in June 1987;[31] Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), 54.49% of whose shares are owned by the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation;[32] and HAVELSAN, a defense software company that is a subsidiary of the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation.[33] Dumlupınar University, which the state owns, also participated in the organization of the conference.

Öztürk’s questions addressed to Vice President Oktay included: “Did ASSAM get permission from the Ministry of the Interior to hold its congresses, of which the third was held?… Has any investigation or examination been started concerning the rhetoric at the conference, which was openly against the constitution [of the Republic of Turkey] and the Law of Associations?… Why was permission given for the third conference, which was a continuation of the activities concerning the formation the Asrica Countries Confederation and Constitutional Model, which is in accordance with shari’a rulings and was declared as a result of the first congress of the aforementioned association?… What form did the contributions of Turkish Airlines, MKEK, ASELSAN, TAI, HAVELSAN, SADAT, the Savunma Sanayii Dergilik, Greater Bursa, and the mayorial offices of the districts of Bahçelievler, Beyoğlu, Esenler, Sancaktepe, and Sultangazi take in congress that ASSAM organized?… What is the approach of the honorable President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of his chief security advisor’s view of the ‘Islamic Countries Confederation State’? Did that approach play a role in the giving of permission to hold a third conference, despite its open goal, to an association whose activities should have been ended after its first conference?… Did the minister of religious affairs attend this meeting? Is the religious affairs minister’s participation in this type of meeting, which predicts a constutional model separate from that of the Republic of Turkey, routine?”[34] Religious Affairs Minister Ali Erbaş both attended and spoke at the December 2019 conference.[35] Brig.-Gen. Asgar Ahmet Zail, a Yemeni defense attache, gave the opening speach at the congress. Other speakers at the event came from Turkey, Pakistan, Burkina Faso, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Egypt, Ukraine, and Sudan.[36]

[1], February 25, 2016.

[2], February 11, 2012.

[4], August 17, 2016.

[5], July 1, 2020.

[7], December 26, 2019.

[8] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 8432 Turkey Deploys Armed Drones To Northern Cyprus, December 23, 2019.

[9] Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield took place from August 2016 to March 2017, Operation Olive Branch took place in January-March 2018, and the main combat of Operation Peace Fountain took place in October-November 2019. Turkish soldiers remain in northern Syria as of this writing.

[10] See MEMRI Inquiry And Analysis No. 1482 Turkey-Qatar Relations: From Bilateral Ties To A Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, November 12, 2019.

[11], September 30, 2017.

[13], January 13, 2020.

[15];, May 15, 2017;, October 17, 2018;, January 3, 2019;, October 24, 2019;,q3xXeJ9zT0iExBry1nhd9w, May 13, 2017;, November 29, 2018;, July 6, 2018.

[16], January 26, 2017;, December 1, 2017;, February 10, 2017;, March 28, 2017;, May 21, 2014;, accessed January 8, 2020,, May 17, 2019.

[17], November 30, 2019;, April 26, 2019;, November 30, 2019;, November 3, 2019;, November 20, 2019;, November 19, 2019;, June 8, 2019;, May 3, 2019;, October 3, 2019;, October 14, 2019;, accessed January 8, 2020;, accessed January 8, 2020;, October 15, 2019;, October 14, 2019;, July 30, 2019;, September 3, 2018;, May 24, 2019;, May 21, 2019.

[18], January 8, 2020.

[19], January 9, 2020.

[20] The Mahdi is a figure in Islamic eschatology who, many Muslims believe, will appear before the Day of Judgment, rid the world of evil, and rule for a period.

[21], December 20, 2019.

[22], December 14, 2019.

[23], December 13, 2019.

[24] For more information on the International Union of Muslim Scholars see the following MEMRI reports: Special Dispatch No. 8295 IUMS Head Dr. Ahmed Al-Raissouni, Who Promotes Extremist, Antisemitic, Anti-Western Discourse, Joins Faculty Of Qatar University, September 26, 2019; Special Dispatch No. 8158 International Union Of Muslim Scholars Head: The True Victims Of Antisemitism Today Are Islam And The Muslims, July 8, 2019; Special Dispatch No. 8135 International Union Of Muslim Scholars, Supported By Qatar, Calls To Boycott Bahrain Conference On Deal Of The Century, Support Palestinians’ Jihad, June 24, 2019; Special Dispatch No. 8000 International Union of Muslim Scholars, Which For Years Has Encouraged Jihad, Calls On The West To Prohibit The Discourse Of Hate, May 15, 2019; Special Dispatch No. 7984 International Union Of Muslim Scholars Urges Imams To Preach Armed Jihad Against Israel To Save Al-Aqsa, August 4, 2019; Special Dispatch No. 7308 Senior Saudi Journalist Al-Rashed: Al-Qaradawi’s International Union Of Muslim Scholars Encourages Jihadi Discourse, Supports Terrorists, Fights Moderate Islam, January 31, 2019; Special Dispatch No. 7264 Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi Calls For Resistance, Jihad And Martyrdom Following Trump’s Recognition Of Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital, January 4, 2018; Special Dispatch No. 6059 Senior Sunni Cleric: Both ISIS And The Fight Against It Serve The Interests Of The West And The Shi’ite Regimes, May 28, 2015; Special Dispatch No. 5316 Al-Qaradhawi’s Support For Jihad And Martyrdom During Gaza Visit And In Biography Of Hamas Bomb Maker Yahya ‘Ayyash, May 28, 2013; Special Dispatch No. 5298 Saudi Professor And IUMS Member Tareq Hawwas In Antisemitic Diatribe: ‘If Only Hitler Had Finished Them Off’, May 10, 2013; Special Dispatch No. 5227 International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS)Attacks UN For Promoting Resolutions Banning Polygamy, Underage Marriage, Marital Rape, Promotion Of Gender Equality, March 8, 2013; Special Dispatch No. 4975 International Union Of Muslim Scholars: The Pope Must Apologize To The Muslims, September 25, 2012; Special Dispatch No. 3823 Article on Muslim Brotherhood Website: U.S. Terrorism Worse than Bin Laden’s, May 9, 2011; Special Dispatch No. 3600 Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi in Friday Sermon at Cairo’s Tahrir Square: Pray for the Conquest of Al-Aqsa, February 18, 2011; Special Dispatch No. 3436 IUMS Head Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi on FIFA’s Choice of Qatar to Host 2022 World Cup: A Triumph for Muslims Over the U.S.; ‘America Wants a Monopoly on Everything’, December 9, 2010; Special Dispatch No. 3093 Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi Calls for Jihad of Self-Sacrifice and for Rejecting the Political Process, July 13, 2010; Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 597 Palestinian Authority Attacks Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi for Calling to Stone President ‘Abbas, March 18, 2010; Special Dispatch No. 2843 Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi Gives Broad-Ranging Interview to BBC Arabic on His Support of Mayrtdom Attacks, His Condemnation of the U.S. Military Base in Qatar, His Position on Shi’ites, His Relations with the Egyptian Government, and More, March 4, 2010; Special Dispatch No. 2709 Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi on Christmas Celebrations in Muslim Countries: ‘I Wanted To Warn My People That This Is Prohibited, Shameful, And Inappropriate… Ignorance Of What Islam Obliges Us To Do…;’ ‘[Can] Muslims in Europe and America… Celebrate Ramadan… in the City Centers[?]’, December 21, 2009; Special Dispatch No. 2662 Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi Explains His Objections to Muslim-Christian Interfaith Dialogue, November 30, 2009; Special Dispatch No. 2554 Fatwa by Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi: Iraqis Must Not Become U.S. Citizens, October 6, 2009; Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 481 Recent Rise in Sunni–Shi’ite Tension (Part II): Anti-Shi’ite Statements by Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi February 25, 2009.

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