Turkish bar association files complaint against Islamist magazine over caliphate call

A Turkish bar association has filed a criminal complaint against Islamist magazine Gerçek Hayat over the publication’s call for a Islamic caliphate, Diken news site reported on Monday.

The move by the Ankara Bar Association follows weekly magazine’s latest issue on the reconversion of Hagia Sophia, which featured an explicit mobilisation call in the name of a religious state under the leadership of an Islamic steward.

“If not now, when? If not you, then who? Come together for the caliphate,’’ the magazine said.

The criminal complaint, levelled at the magazine’s editor-in-chief and Islamist pro-government Yeni Akit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak, who shared the magazine cover on social media, accuses the publication of inciting the public to hate and enmity and provocation to violate the law. 

On Friday, Turkey reopened Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia as a mosque in a ceremony attended by tens of thousands.

The move fulfils a long-time call by the country’s Islamists, who see the former seat of the Greek Orthodox Church as a symbol of a clash between Christianity and Islam.

Gerçek Hayat magazine is part of the Albayrak media group, owned by the brother of Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak.