Jerusalem will be conquered when Turkish women abide by the Charter of Medina (of the Prophet Muhammad in 622) instead of the Istanbul Convention on combatting violence against women, stated Nurettin Yıldız, a jihadist and anti-Semitic Turkish cleric who has called for armed jihad.
“When Turkish women abide by the Medina Charter instead of the Istanbul… and prefer the protection of God rather than human protection, the Jews will be disappeared and Jerusalem be ready for a new [Islamic] conquest,” Yıldız said during a conference titled “Jerusalem and the martyrs of the Mavi Marmara [flotilla]” and organized by the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) on February 20.
Yıldız, a radical imam who is close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is a leading figure among conservative and pro-government groups claiming the Istanbul Convention undermines traditional family values and structure. He is a frequent keynote speaker at both youth events organized by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and conferences and lectures sponsored by pro-government groups and foundations.
Yıldız openly advocates armed jihad, describes democracy as a system for infidels and says it can only be used as a means of deception to rise to power. He is the man who radicalized the young al-Nusra-affiliated police officer who assassinated the Russian ambassador to Turkey in December 2016.
AKP officials are discussing withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention and the annulment of Law No. 6284, enacted following the signing of the convention in 2011. A meeting of the party’s Central Executive Committee (MYK) to decide the fate of the convention scheduled to take place on August 5 was postponed.
The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, the first European treaty specifically targeting violence against women and domestic violence, was opened for signature in May 2011 in Istanbul and entered into force in August 2014. So far 45 Council of Europe member states have signed the convention, while 34 of them have ratified it, with Turkey being the first among the 34 ratifying countries.
Commenting on Turkey’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention, AKP Deputy Chair and former Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş had earlier said it was wrong to become a party to the convention, indicating that the government might consider withdrawing from it.
President Erdoğan’s neo-nationalist (Ulusalcı) and hardline secularist ally Doğu Perinçek, leader of the Homeland Party (Vatan Partisi), has also urged the Turkish government to withdraw from the international accord. Perinçek defined the convention as “a tool of Western imperialist powers to control Turkish society.”
The Charter of Medina, referred to by Yıldız, was drafted by the Prophet Muhammad in 622 and provided the basis of a city-state in Medina.
“Liberation of the al-Aqsa Mosque [in Jerusalem’s Old City]” and “the conquest of Jerusalem” have regularly been presented as goals by President Erdoğan, AKP officials and jihadist figures during recent discussions.
For instance, addressing the nation regarding his decree on July 10 ordering the conversion of Hagia Sophia back into a mosque after the top administrative court annulled a 1934 presidential decree that made it a museum, President Erdoğan had pointed out that “the resurrection of Hagia Sophia heralds the liberation of the al-Aqsa Mosque [from Israel].”
Speaking during a video conference organized by a pro-government foundation, Kurtulmuş stated that the legacy for Jerusalem should be Turkey’s next responsibility after the Hagia Sophia. “It is the responsibility of our nation to fulfill the legacy of ‘La Ilahe Illallah, Ibrahim Halilullah [There is no God but Allah, Abraham is his friend]’ written at the top of the Hebron Gate, as a dream, as a goal in the coming days,” Kurtulmuş said.
Most recently, Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kıran defined Turkey’s Hagia Sophia reconversion to a mosque as a message for the Islamic world to liberate the al-Aqsa mosque, at a video conference held by the Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum on August 10.
“The reopening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque has significance beyond being a new place of worship. It is a message of self-confidence from Turkey to the Islamic world. We hope that we as Muslims take this message further. I would like to recall what our President Erdoğan said during the reopening of the Grand Mosque of Hagia Sophia. He underlined that the reclamation of Hagia Sophia as a mosque is the signal for the liberation of Masjeed al-Aqsa,” said Kıran.
Yıldız himself admitted his connections to jihadist groups in Syria in a letter he wrote right after the leader of Ahrar al-Sham, Hassan Abboud, also known by the nom de guerre Abu Abdullah al-Hamawi, was killed in September 2014 in a suicide attack on a high-level meeting in Syria’s Idlib province. In the letter, dated Sept. 10, 2014, Yıldız recalls how he made a trip to Idlib to meet Abu Abdullah and how they discussed the jihadist fight against the infidels. He described the killing of Abu Abdullah as “a great loss to the cause,” regretting that his invitation to host him in Istanbul had not come to fruition.
The IHH, the organizer of the event on Jerusalem, is a front charity that is known as a tool of Turkish intelligence agency MIT and has been under investigation by the Turkish police. It was accused of smuggling arms to al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists in Syria and Libya. IHH was also utilized in the transport of wounded Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaeda fighters by ambulance from Syria to Turkey.
In 2010 Israeli forces stormed the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish-owned vessel that was part of a flotilla seeking to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza by delivering aid and humanitarian support. Eight Turkish nationals and an American-Turkish activist were shot dead during the raid, while another Turkish man later succumbed to his injuries. The boat was owned and operated by the IHH.