This is a significant statement since, unless you count the Islamic State, the Ottoman Empire was the last caliphate — the last state to claim the allegiance of all Muslims worldwide, and to present itself as the government to which all Muslims owed allegiance.
But Kemal Ataturk, the founder of secular Turkey, would have disagreed with Erdogan. Ataturk established the Turkish Republic as a repudiation of the Ottomans. He abolished the caliphate and sent the last caliph into exile. He outlawed public manifestations of Islamic piety such as turbans, and mandated the wearing of Western-style hats, declaring that “the civilized world is far ahead of us. We have no choice but to catch up. It is time to stop nonsense, such as ‘should we or should we not wear hats?’ We shall adopt hats along with all other works of Western civilization. Uncivilized people are doomed to be trodden under the feet of civilized people.”
Hats were more than just headgear: because of their brims, they interfered with the prostrations that were and are an essential element of Muslim prayer. He also mandated that Turkish be written in Roman rather than Arabic characters, and forbade imams from preaching anything other than the sermons they received from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which never sent sermons touching on political aspects of Islam. Ataturk placed other restrictions on Islamic practices, and introduced secular, Western-style marriage laws. “Islam,” said Ataturk, “this theology of an immoral Arab, is a dead thing.” But he hadn’t reckoned on Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Turkish Republic is continuation of Ottomans: President Erdoğan,” Hürriyet Daily News, February 10, 2018 (thanks to Fjordman):
The Republic of Turkey is a continuation of the Ottoman Empire, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Feb. 10.
“The Republic of Turkey, just like our previous states that are a continuation of one another, is also a continuation of the Ottomans,” Erdoğan said in remarks he made during a commemoration ceremony to mark the centenary of the death of Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II at the Yıldız Palace in Istanbul.
“Of course, the borders have changed. Forms of government have changed… But the essence is the same, soul is the same, even many institutions are the same.”
Erdoğan added this is why Sultan Abdulhamid is one of the “most important, most visionary and most strategic minded” individual that made his mark in recent 150 years.
Sultan Abdulhamid II, the son of Sultan Abdulmecid, died in 1918, and was the 34th sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
Erdoğan also criticized those with “bigoted” viewpoints about Sultan Abdulhamid.
“Some people insistently try to start this country’s history from 1923. Some unrelentingly try to break us from our roots and ancient values,” he added.
Erdoğan said the big picture brings character and memory to a nation.
“We take pride in our history without making discrimination,” the leader added on the day eleven Turkish soldiers were killed in cross-border operations….