Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised that “Ankara will produce first long-range missiles by 2021.”
This is a matter of concern coming from an Islamic leader as ambitious and aggressive as Erdogan.
He accused Europe of starting a war between Islam and Christianity in 2017, after a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that allowed employers to ban headscarves, stemming from the case of a Muslim receptionist who was fired for wearing her headscarf to work in Belgium. Subsequently, the ECJ ruled that “bans on the wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination.”
This past summer, Erdogan slammed Austria’s move to close mosques and expel Turkish-funded imams. He called the decision anti-Islamic and promised a response, adding that “these measures taken by the Austrian prime minister are, I fear, leading the world toward a war between the cross and the crescent.”
Erdogan has also threatened to make “sick Europe” pay “for ‘humiliating & oppressing’ Turks,” and he has called for “an ‘army of of Islam’ to attack Israel on all sides.”
Last winter, Erdogan declared jihad on the Kurds and dispatched an army of thousands of soldiers to “decimate” them, following “conquest prayers” in 90,000 mosques, calling on Muslims to be “ruthless against unbelievers.”
Erdogan is preparing for jihad in service of his dream of a revived Ottoman Empire. He needs to be stymied in his efforts to build long-range missiles, just as Iran’s nuclear ambitions have been reined in by Trump. The Trump administration has already threatened Turkey with sanctions if Ankara goes ahead with its production of long-range missiles.