Jul 05 2018

Erdoğan may hold referendum on return of Caliphate – former party leader

Cem Toker, the former head of libertarian political party the Liberal Democratic Party, has said in an interview on TV channel KRT that Erdoğan is planning to reintroduce the office of the caliphate, a title of symbolic leadership in the Muslim world held by the Ottoman sultans and abolished by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk after the founding of the Turkish republic.

“There will be another referendum in the next four years,” Toker said.

“There is one more referendum left to come. I believe that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is assertive (on this point). My guess: the caliphate. We will ask the nation, ‘shall we bring back the caliphate or not?’”

Surprised program host Çağlar Çilara responded by asking whether Toker was sure.

“It’s a very, very great possibility, yes,” Toker replied.

“March 3, 2024 is the hundredth anniversary of the abolition of the caliphate...”

Çilara said that ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) figures on the show had often defended the view that the caliphate should be brought back for the sake of the global Islamic community.

If Erdoğan was to save the Islamic world, and some of them believed he should, Çilara said, he would not be able to do it as the president of Turkey alone.