Military adviser to Turkey’s Erdoğan resigns after Mahdi remarks

The founder of Turkey’s influential government-linked private security firm SADAT has resigned from his role as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s adviser weeks after telling an audience at a speech that his company was paving the way for the coming of the Mahdi, a messianic figure some Muslims believe will redeem mankind before the world ends.

Adnan Tanrıverdi, a retired general, told members of a religious organisation he leads that he was resigning due to his age and what he called a smear campaign against him, adding that the president had accepted his resignation, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.

Tanrıverdi grabbed headlines in late December, when he told the audience at an Islamic conference that his private security company was working to prepare the world for the Mahdi.

SADAT has had considerable press attention for years in Turkey, where opposition politicians say the firm works to enforce Erdoğan’s agenda without any public oversight.

Media reports say SADAT has played a significant role in training Syrian rebels throughout the country’s nine-year conflict and that it has also been active in Libya, where Turkey is sending forces to support the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord in its conflict against rivals from the east of the country.