Turkey appears to be accelerating its endeavor to establish an Ottoman-style Islamic government encompassing several Muslim nations. One such effort was apparent in early November at the second “International Islamic Union Congress,” in Istanbul. The conference is sponsored mainly by the Strategic Research Center for Defenders of Justice (ASSAM), headed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s chief military advisor, Adnan Tanrıverdi, a retired Islamist lieutenant general.
Other organizers of the congress — the next one of which is to be held in December 2019 — include the Association of Justice Defenders (ASDER), Istanbul’s Üsküdar University (ÜÜ), the Union of NGOs of the Islamic World (UNIW), the International Muslim Scholars Association (UMAD) and the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS).
The self-described aim of the congress is “to make determinations on an academic and political ground with regard to current problems in world politics, particularly in Islamic world geography, and to offer solutions to decision-makers.”
At the November event, Tanrıverdi and other prominent supporters of Erdoğan promoted the creation of a common Muslim economic market. Participants declared their aim to create an Islamic “superpower of the future on Islamic lands owned by 60 Islamic countries, inhabited by 1,6 billion Muslims, on 19 million km2,” constituting “55.5% of world oil reserves and 45.6% of its production, 64.1% of natural gas reserves, and 33% of its production.”