Lost Glory

Turkey is one of the most powerful nations in the Islamic world.
Will it win back the lost glory of the Ottoman Empire?

By Abdul Rasool Syed | July 2020

What is Recip Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, poised to do after the expiry of the Treaty of Lausanne in 2023? Is he trying to resurrect the Ottoman Caliphate (Sultanat-e-Osmaniya)? Almost every political discourse these days by political luminaries, spin doctors and academicians, revolves around the question. The world is curious to know what Turkey will do under Erdogan beyond 2023. The Turkish drama serial, “Dirilis: Ertugrul” is also premised on the history of the Ottoman Empire and is justifiably patronized by the Erdogan administration. It has also sent shock waves across the world as it rejuvenates the struggle for reclaiming the Ottoman Empire.

Erdogan is paving the way to create a state on the lines of the Ottoman Empire when the Treaty of Lausanne expires in 2023. Erdogan has taken numerous measures that clearly reflect his policy and passion to regain the lost glory of the Muslims. He is restructuring the Turkish identity through manifestations and symbols of the Ottoman heritage. This analysis explores how Erdogan plans to recreate a state like the Ottoman Empire.

Domestically, Erdogan always knew that without consolidating his power, it was almost impossible for him to re-build a country like the Ottoman Caliphate. He began by taking steps to make himself more powerful. For this, he transformed the entire Turkish political outlook from parliamentary to presidential. Abdul Rehman Dilliak, a Turkish thinker affiliated with Erdogan’s regime, is of the opinion that the transformation of Turkey’s political dispensation to Presidential may just give it the opportunity to become a country that is as powerful as the Ottoman Caliphate of the days of yore
It is apparent that Erdogan’s approach is different from Kemal Ataturk’s who was a champion of secularism. Erdogan is using social re-engineering in a bid to restore Ottoman values and practices. This includes exclusion of opponents and keeping dissenting voices at bay. His crackdown after the failed military coup attempt in 2016 is a case in point. He dismissed state employees as well as police and military officers and restructured the administrative apparatus of the state.

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