June 9, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10660

Editorials In Urdu Dailies In Pakistan: Turkish President Erdoğan's Election Victory 'Will Prove To Be A Turning Point Not Only For His Country But For The Betterment Of The Entire Ummah'; 'Due To His Connection With Islamic Causes Tayyip Erdoğan Is A Needle In The Eye Of The West And Its Media'

June 9, 2023
Turkey | Special Dispatch No. 10660

Following the re-election of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on May 28, 2023, Pakistan's two leading Islamist newspapers, Roznama Islam and Roznama Ummat, published editorials, describing the Erdoğan's win as the victory of the entire Islamic Ummah. Both the newspapers are Urdu-language newspapers known for their support of Islamic groups and jihadi organizations globally.

In its editorial titled "The Spectacular Win Of Tayyip Erdoğan – Hopes And Expectations," Roznama Islam observed: "Extreme propaganda was carried out against Syrians and Pakistanis residing in Turkey and slogans of non-religion and nationalism were used instead of [those of] Islamic relationship of brotherhood." It also saw Erdoğan's victory as a reflection of the West's gradual decline, saying: "The Western countries have been losing their grip on the world."

Roznama Ummat, which leans in its orientation toward the Pakistani military and jihadi groups, noted: "Erdoğan, in real terms, has raised the head of this nation with pride. Along with this, he is also very popular in the Islamic world. The reason is that, like the Ottoman Sultans, if any Muslim is hurt in any part of the world, he raises his voice against it, he supports them."

In February 2023, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (left) met President Erdoğan in Ankara

Following are excepts from the Roznama Islam editorial:[1]

"The Most Important Point About Tayyip Erdoğan's Victory Is Also That He Has Won This Electoral Battle By Defeating The Alliance Of All Liberal And Secular Forces"

"Due to Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan's victory in the final round of Turkey's presidential elections, a wave of joy has spread through the length and breadth of the world of Islam. Happiness is being expressed over his victory among the Arab public in particular. Among the Muslims of Palestine and Gaza, his victory was seen as a big news. And after the Turks, Palestinian and Syrian Muslims are welcoming his victory with full fervor.

"The common view is that the Turkish president's victory will prove to be a continuation of the series of reforms and changes in the Turkish republic that was launched toward the end of the 1990s. As per the Constitution, after being elected for the last time as president, Tayyip Erdoğan will make a full effort to turn AK Party's mission and his vision into reality, which will have a far-reaching impact on Turkish society. It is also the possibility that his victory will also have consequences for the regional politics and international relations, and Turkey will be able to manifest its role and importance in global politics.

"The most important point about Tayyip Erdoğan's victory is that he has won this electoral battle by defeating the alliance of all liberal and secular forces. The liberal parties of Turkey received full support from some international powers. The alliance opposed to President Erdoğan adopted every tactic in dividing the nation in the name of free speech, nationalism, territorial limitations, and language.

"Extreme propaganda was carried out against Syrians and Pakistanis residing in Turkey and slogans of non-religion and nationalism were used instead of [those of] Islamic relationship of brotherhood. But hundreds of thanks [to God] that despite all deception the majority of the Turkish public sided with those who conducted politics based on the mosque, hijab, millah [nation], and construction and progress. And the puppets steering Turkish politics, with the support of external powers, toward atheism became unsuccessful."

"Pakistani Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Has Described The Turkish President As A Pillar Of Strength, In Its Real Meaning, For The Oppressed Muslims"

"The Western media are expressing, in half-covered words, concern over Tayyip Erdoğan's victory, [saying] that Erdoğan could promote violence in the region and repressive state policies. A view is being expressed that the Turkish president could attract war by getting his country engaged in the [global] game of power. According to critics, Turkey is continuously raising its military strength and Erdoğan can create problems for some states in Europe such as Greece...

"According to analysts, the reason behind the West's continuous criticism of Erdoğan's policies is his relationship with the religion and nation. The Western media views Erdoğan's success in connection with Turkey's glorious past and the revival of age-old traditions, while the Turkish president himself has referred in his victory speech to the historic victory at Istanbul, saying that this victory is a turning point of the kind of transformation that launched a new history after the establishment of the Ottoman Sultanate.

A screenshot of the editorial in Roznama Islam

"The Turkish president's Islam-loving attitude, his connection based on nation and religion and ideology and Kalimah,[2] and his thought and sympathy for the oppressed Muslims across the world are not hidden from anybody. Pakistani Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has described the Turkish president as a pillar of strength, in its real meaning, for the oppressed Muslims. This is the reason that in the world of Islam, the news of his victory has been heard as a message of joy.

"It has also been revealed that Western countries have been losing their grip on the world. Like the past, it is no longer a fact that they [the Western nations] can change governments in the world according to their will. If this analysis is correct, then the pressure on the governments of the Islamic world will be less than it had been in the past. If the people of Muslim countries maintain their beliefs, ideology, internal unity, brotherhood, and integrity, think in terms of the wider interests of the [Islamic] nation and confront difficulties, then the misconception the supremacy of international power can be broken."

"Despite President Erdoğan's Victory, There Are Popular Parties In Turkey That Want To Take Turkey Once Again Toward Atheism, Free Speech, Non-Religiosity, And A Free Culture Without Mother And Father"

"The unbroken victory of the leadership possessing Islam-loving attitudes in Turkey is in fact the fruit of continuous struggle and hard work. The Turkish president, along with his friends, has worked with iron will, towering willpower, and tireless work to transform Turkey into a stable state. Therefore, it is necessary to learn about the unceasing struggle and tireless labor of those... who are playing a political role in society for the reconstruction of laws and the system of government according to shari'a and the religion-loving parties in the world of Islam.

"The Turkish president has said in the past that he never believed in violence and revenge, and rather always waged a peaceful struggle, which became the reason for his victory. The religious political parties working in Pakistan should adopt the same attitude.

"Despite President Erdoğan's victory, there are popular parties in Turkey that want to take Turkey once again toward atheism, free speech, non-religiosity, and a free culture without mother and father. In such a situation, it can be said of the Turkish president that he will definitely think about changing the laws. He has a clear majority in the parliament, and he along with like-minded parties can change the laws through a simple majority.

"The world of Islam should play its role too regarding the level at which Turkish culture needs reform and training and religious education. It can be hoped that the Turkish president, during his new tenure of power, will make positive progress in regional ties and along with the Turkish states [unclear, probably a reference to Azerbaijan and the Turkic-majority states of Central Asia] will play his role in forming a powerful alliance to end the Russia-Ukraine war, and he will forge more strength and stability in the fundamental transformations of Turkey.

"It is evident from the results of the recent elections that efforts toward transformation, reform, and progress in Turkey have not fully materialized... Among some cities even now, the consequences of nationalism, free thought, liberalism, and Western culture are fully present, as if a long time will be needed for a complete enforcement of reform and training, education of religious beliefs and ideologies and a complete revival of Islamic civilization. However, as President Erdoğan has said, there should be hope that his victory will prove to be a turning point not only for his country but for the betterment of the entire Ummah. We congratulate the Turkish public on this victory."

Following are excerpts from the Roznama Ummat editorial:[3]

"Turkey Is Building Its First Aircraft Carrier Rapidly, While It Has Already Produced Naval Ships From Which Drones Can Fly; Similarly, Turkey Is Rapidly Making Progress In Building Modern Weapons, Including Tanks And Fighter Jets"

"[Erdoğan's] re-election has proved to be a wave of pleasant breeze for the Islamic world. Erdoğan has obtained more than 52 percent of the vote. While his rival, who had the support of all the opposition parties, got 47 percent of the votes. There is no doubt that Tayyip Erdoğan is a popular leader. The Turkish public give him the status of a leader. Under his leadership, Turkey's fate has transformed [positively].

"There is a huge difference between the Turkey before Tayyip Erdoğan and today's Turkey. Under his leadership, Turkey has registered amazing progress in all spheres. Currently, Turkey's defense industry is counted among the top five or six countries that are producers of military equipment. In fact, a power like Russia is also seen longing to buy drones from it. Also, Turkey is building its first aircraft carrier rapidly, while it has already produced naval ships from which drones can fly. Similarly, Turkey is rapidly making progress in building modern weapons including tanks and fighter jets.

The editorial in
Roznama Ummat

"Turkey has also developed rapidly in the field of economy. At one point, European countries called Turkey a sick economic nation. But the world saw when the Turkish people got a leader like Tayyip Erdoğan, then their country progressed speedily in the economic field too.

"Although, due to the COVID epidemic the tourism industry was affected over past two years and economic problems have emerged in Turkey, and a rise in people's problems were also seen because of rising inflation and a drop in the value of the [Turkish] Lira. But apart from this, Turkey's economy is several times stronger than before Tayyip Erdoğan came to power. Due to the temporary economic problems, President Tayyip Erdoğan's opponents were waiting with the hope that this time he could be defeated."

"The Importance Of Turkey Is Increasing On The International Level – Powers Like Russia, The European Union, And America Look Up To Turkey And Its President Tayyip Erdoğan On Various Issues, Try To Get His Support"

"After the earthquake in Turkey in February, which created a [difficult] situation in the affected areas, Tayyip Erdoğan's opponents had hoped that there would be resentment among the people. Still the results of the elections proved that the Turkish people are wise. In earthquake-affected areas, more than 70 percent of people voted for Erdoğan. Under the leadership of Tayyip Erdoğan, another important change has taken place in Turkey that democracy has become stronger there.

"In 2016, there was a military coup against Tayyip Erdoğan, which the people made unsuccessful. Elections are taking place on time. And the electoral system is so strong and transparent that there is no need for an interim government, and no one points a finger at the electoral process. There is no sit-in; neither a call is given for protest and violence [as happens in Pakistan]. Rather, the power is decided by the power of the people's vote, and then the government completes its term. All these factors together are making Turkey a great nation.

"The importance of Turkey is increasing on the international level. Powers like Russia, the European Union and America look up to Turkey and its president Tayyip Erdoğan on various issues, try to get his support. Erdoğan, in real terms, has raised the head of this nation with pride. Along with this, he is also very popular in the Islamic world. And the reason is that like the Ottoman Sultans, if any Muslim is hurt in any part of the world, he raises his voice against it, he supports them.

Pakistanis turn out in streets marking Tayyip Erdoğan's victory

"After the success on Sunday [May 28], while addressing the nation, Tayyip Erdoğan said that his victory is the victory of democracy, the victory of the Turkish people. He said that this is Turkey's century. The Turkish nation has great strength and passion, through which we can achieve our place at the global level. Erdoğan is very successfully connecting the Turkish people to the great Islamic Ottoman empire. Therefore, on Sunday, he also reminded people that Monday, May 29, is the day when Sultan Muhammad Fateh conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453.

"[President Erdoğan told the people that] 570 years ago today, a new era began after the victory at Constantinople, when we reached the peak. And now again Turkey is going to enter in a new era. He also criticized Western media and said that the propagandists against him failed. There is no doubt that due to his connection with Islamic causes Tayyip Erdoğan is a needle in the eyes of the West and its media.

"President Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkey's strong democratic tenets are an example for us. If we [in Pakistan] have to take our country forward, if it has to be given a dignified place among the nations of the world, if the economy has to be revived, then solutions will emerge from the democratic system. Our political leaders should learn a lesson from this..."


[1] Roznama Islam (Pakistan), May 30, 2023. The translation of the editorials in this dispatch has been simplified to avoid repetition of words and nomenclature.

[2] The words spoken to declare one's Islamic faith, la ilaha illa allah ("there is no god but Allah.")

[3] Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), May 30, 2023.

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