On Wednesday 8th January, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and Turkey’s leader, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan formally launched a Black Sea pipeline that will funnel Russian natural gas via Turkey to Europe. The two leaders inaugurated the ‘TurkStream’ in Istanbul which will carry natural gas through an undersea pipeline stretching 930km from Anapa on the Russian Black Sea Coast to Kiyikay west of Istanbul for Turkish domestic consumption, while a second leg will carry Russian gas to South east Europe through Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary. It will also enable Russia to bypass Ukraine to supply gas to Europe. The project cements further the mutual cooperation and ties between Russia and Turkey.
Through this action, Erdogan continues his shameless legacy of offering an ever-warmer embrace to the Butcher of Moscow. Rather than confronting the murderer Putin, who is responsible for the cold-blooded slaughter of thousands of Muslims in Syria and defending the bloodthirsty Assad regime, the Turkish leader seeks instead to strengthens the hand and economy of the Russian tyrant, aiding him to continue his genocide against the honourable Muslims of Ash-Sham, while also shackling Turkey to the future influence and interests of Russia. Necdet Pamir, head of energy policy at the Turkish Chamber of Petroleum Engineers, stated that while TurkStream would ensure a steady supply of gas for Turkey it had left the country “tied by our necks to Russia”.
Not only has Erdogan worked hand in hand with the Russian and Iranian regimes and their Western backers to crush the Islamic revolution in Syria through their devious conferences and so-called peace-processes aimed at dividing and diverting the factions from the removal of the butcher Bashar, he has also unashamedly strengthened ties with a communist regime which bears a venomous hatred of Islam and Muslims and has always been an open enemy of the Ummah and their Deen. It is a regime that continues to persecute and imprison with lengthy jail sentences Muslims in Russia and the Tartar Muslims of Crimea in order to terrorise them into abandoning their Islamic beliefs. But all this clearly holds no weight in Erdogan’s eyes, for he has even deepened military cooperation with Moscow, including the sharing of military intelligence, accepting the delivery of a Russian made S-400 missile defense system last year, and embracing joint patrols of Russian – Turkish troops along the Turkey-Syrian border.
Erdogan often revels in the idea of believing himself to be the re-incarnation of the great Ottoman leaders of the past, but the gulf of difference is huge. This month marks the anniversary of the Conquest of Constantinople in 857AH (1453CE) by the great Ottoman Sultan and Commander Muhammad Al-Faatih (rh), known as Sultan Memed II. This is a man who truly reflected the caliber and characteristics of an Islamic leader – for he dedicated his life to further the cause of the Deen and spread the frontiers of Islam across the world. From a tender age, his deep inculcation with the sublime Islamic beliefs, built a personality that yearned to give his life in the service of Allah, and to conquer the great city of Constantinople in order to be of the one described by our beloved Prophet ﷺ when he said: «لَتُفْتَحَنَّ الْقُسْطَنْطِينِيَّةُ فَلَنِعْمَ الْأَمِيرُ أَمِيرُهَا وَلَنِعْمَ الْجَيْشُ ذَلِكَ الْجَيْشُ» “You will open Constantinople. Its Amir is the best Amir, and the best army is that army.” His desire was not to appease and cooperate with the Byzantine Empire and other enemies of the Muslims, but to defeat them in order to make Islam the prevailing Deen in the world. After taking Constantinople, Muhammad Al-Faatih set his sights on expanding Islam across Europe, including conquering Rome, in order to achieve another Glad Tidings of the Prophet ﷺ.
This is the quality of leader demanded by Islam – the one who defends the Muslims and the Deen and takes the light of Islam to the world, rather than the one who colludes in the conspiracies against the Believers, strengthens the hands of murderous tyrants, fights only for selfish national interests and cowers to the agendas of foreign states. However, such a caliber of ruler will only materialise under a system that also sincerely represents the interests and cause of the Muslims and Islam: the Khilafah (Caliphate) based upon the method of the Prophethood. So as an Ummah, if we desire the return of great leaders of the likes of Muhammad al-Faatih, and if we wish to see glorious victories for our Deen once again of the likes of the Conquest of Constantinople, and if we yearn to witness the achievement of the other Glad Tidings of Allah (swt) and His Messenger ﷺ, then we must exert our full efforts and focus our full attention on establishing the only system that will transform these hopes and dreams into a reality: the glorious Khilafah state. Allah (swt) says,
وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنكُمۡ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ لَيَسۡتَخۡلِفَنَّهُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ ڪَمَا ٱسۡتَخۡلَفَ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمۡ دِينَہُمُ ٱلَّذِى ٱرۡتَضَىٰ لَهُمۡ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّہُم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ خَوۡفِهِمۡ أَمۡنً۬اۚ يَعۡبُدُونَنِى لَا يُشۡرِكُونَ بِى شَيۡـًٔ۬اۚ وَمَن ڪَفَرَ بَعۡدَ ذَٲلِكَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡفَـٰسِقُونَ
“Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), as He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their religion, the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (their state), after the fear in which they (lived), to one of security and peace: `They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me.’ If any do reject Faith after this, they are rebellious and wicked.” [An-Nur: 55]
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz
Director of the Women’s Section in The Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir