Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An official in Turkey's ruling AKP party caused a stir this week after warning in a tweet that the country should "get ready for the caliphate" of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The AKP's local chief in the Turkish province of Siirt sent the tweet on Tuesday in response to Erdogan's opponents who object to his plans to seize more power in the country by changing the system of government from a parliamentary system to a presidential system in which he would serve as leader.
Fuat Özgür Çalapkulu was quoted by Turkish daily Hurriyet
as having tweeted that Erdogan's opponents were wrong in the past in their claims that he "could not even be a village headman."
“Now they are saying he cannot be president [under a presidential system]. The caliph is coming, get ready,” Çalapkulu tweeted.
Çalapkulu on Thursday made the tweet private and walked back his quotes after facing criticism for his use of the term caliph. “I use this word to refer to a leader who has command of all the problems, institutions and administration of his country; a leader who is the independent and powerful voice of the world’s downtrodden; the protector of the oppressed; a good, successful, pioneering and visionary leader,” he said in the statement.
A caliph is a political and religious leader of the entire Muslim people who is seen as a succesor to the Prophet Muhammad. Those who believe in a caliphate, such as terror group the Islamic State (ISIS), see a borderless state under the caliph's rule in the whole of the Middle East region.