A Turkish Quest to „Liberate“ Jerusalem
by Burak Bekdil
The Gatestone Institute
November 13, 2014
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu delivered the opening speech of the „International Meeting on the Question of Jerusalem“ held in Ankara in May.
Turks have a different understanding of what constitutes an occupation and a conquest of a city. The Turkish rule is very simple: The capture of a foreign city by force is an occupation if that city is Turkish (or Muslim) and the capture of a city by force is conquest if the city belongs to a foreign nation (or non-Muslims).
For instance, Turks still think the capture of Istanbul in 1453 was not occupation; it was conquest.
In a 2012 speech, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (then Prime Minister) said: „Just like Mecca, Cairo and Istanbul are cities of the Qur’an.“ In truth, there is no mention of any city’s name in the Qur’an. Never mind.
„Conquest,“ Turkey’s top Muslim cleric, Professor Mehmet Gormez, declared in 2012, „is not to occupy lands or destroy cities and castles. Conquest is the conquest of hearts!“ That is why, the top Turkish cleric said, „In our history there has never been occupation.“ Instead, Professor Gormez said, „in our history, there has always been conquest.“ He further explained that one pillar of conquest is to „open up minds to Islam, and hearts to the Qur’an.“
Most Turkish Islamists think they have an Allah-given right to take infidel lands by the force of sword.
It is in this religious justification that most Turkish Islamists think they have an Allah-given right to take infidel lands by the force of sword — ironically, not much different from what the tougher Islamists have been doing in large parts of Syria and Iraq. Ask any commander in the Islamic State and he would tell you what the jihadists are doing there is „opening up minds to Islam, and hearts to the Qur’an.“
Both President Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu have declared countless times that Gaza and Jerusalem (in addition to Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Somalia and the Maghreb) are Turkey’s „domestic affairs.“