Retiring Turkish governor aims scimitar at Jerusalem
Necati Şentürk, the governor of the central Turkish province Kırşehir, gave a farewell speech to local citizens from a balcony wielding a scimitar and megaphone, the Time of Israel reported on Thursday.
Şentürk, speaking last weekend before his retirement due to age, appeared eager to make the most of the heightened nationalist sentiments caused by Turkey’s successful military operation against Kurdish forces in Afrin, northwest Syria.
“We will take Afrin, then we will take Manbij, god willing,” shouted the governor, referring to a nearby area in Syria.
“Then we will go to Mosul, and we will go to Jerusalem,” the Times of Israel quoted him as saying.
The two cities were both governed by the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor state to the Turkish Republic that has a central place in the ruling Justice and Development Party’s nationalist rhetoric.
Afrin was fully captured last Sunday, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has publicly declared his intentions to extend the military operation to Manbij.