İbrahim Kalın
After Hagia Sophia has been opened to worship following the first Friday prayers on July 24, a magazine called Gerçek Hayat (Real Life) made a call for the establishment of "Caliphate" in its July 27 issue, which has sparked a public outrage, especially on social media.

Amid these debates, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has made a statement about the call for "Caliphate" made by the magazine whose Grant Holder is Mustafa Albayrak and Editor-in-Chief is Kemal Özer.

Addressing the debates in a TV program, Kalın has noted that "starting a debate on the regime through discussions on Caliphate is an artificial agenda. Turkey does not have such an agenda."

Comment: That's probably correct, but Erdogan does seem to have intentions of re-establishing some of the Caliphate's scope of influence, at the very least. Turkey's escapades in Syria and Libya point in that direction. Reverting Hagia Sophia back to its Ottoman-era function as a mosque also doesn't look very good from a PR point of view.

Kalın has said, "Our goal must be to ensure that Turkey attains its rightful place in 2023 as a fully independent country based on the democratic will of the people. These are all artificial discussions. Saying 'Atatürk was defamed' or 'Let's declare Caliphate' means shadowing this success."

Concluding his remarks, Kalın has indicated that "Hagia Sophia must be a symbol that brings everyone together."

Comment: It was already such a symbol as a museum.

AKP Spokesperson also made a statement

In its issue dated July 27, the magazine made a call for the establishment of "Caliphate" by saying on its cover page, "Come together for Caliphate." Amid reactions and criticisms, Editor-in-Chief Kemal Özer shared a message on Twitter and defended the cover of the magazine.

In this context, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Spokesperson Ömer Çelik also made a statement on Twitter yesterday (July 27)

Warning against "political polarization about political regime," he noted, "the Republic of Turkey is a democratic, secular and social state of law."

"It is wrong to cause polarization about the political regime of Turkey. Our Republic is the apple of our eyes with its all qualities. The unsound debates and polarization about our political regime circulating on social media since yesterday is not the agenda of Turkey," he underlined.

Criminal complaint by Ankara Bar

While the call of the magazine has sparked an outrage, Ankara Bar Association has also announced that they have filed a criminal complaint about the expressions used in the related issue of Gerçek Hayat. (SO/SD)