In a March 8, 2020 column titled "Destiny Of Islam, Humanity Depends On Turkey" in the Turkish daily Yeni Şafak, which is a mouthpiece of Turkey's ruling AKP, columnist Yusuf Kaplan wrote: "Turkey is face to face with two important sieges that will determine the Islamic world's destiny in particular and the world's destiny at large... If Turkey is able to overcome the secular shackle siege that has led us to be stopped from within, and the Shi'ite siege from outside, we will start making both our region and the world's history again within the next century-long timeframe." Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Yusuf Kaplan in the hospital in June 2017 after the latter had a stroke.
Turkish journalist Yusuf Kaplan.
The following is Yeni Şafak's translation of Kaplan's article:
"Turkey is face to face with two important sieges that will determine the Islamic world's destiny in particular and the world's destiny at large. One is an internal siege while the other is an external one.
"Secular Siege From Inside
"Let us first start with the first siege. Western imperialists settled in our region and turned our region into hell. Turkey, confined into the Anatolian continent, could not be physically colonized, but it colonized itself mentally. It itself did (was able to do) from inside and carried out at its own hands the sort of destruction the West could not dare do even in its own colonies. It stopped its own civilization march! (Really, it inflicted that on itself?)
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"Turkey was pushed into Westernization, secularization; secularism was imposed top-down, using Jacobean methods, as if to change religion, on this grand nation that has been the flag-bearer of Islamic civilization for a millennium. The community's soul, the sole source of its history, its past, its Islamic identity and sensitivities, the biggest guarantee of its future were dealt a major blow. Where things stood at the time, society divided into two. As Sherif Mardin drew the outline years ago, 'two societies' emerged.
"Turkey's problems multiplied and became layered: the more it became secular the more ethnic identities came to the forefront; the Islamic identity and sensitivities that kept the society together corroded, the common denominator bringing society together is in pieces: the Kurdish question surfaced. Among these divided social/cultural identities, sovereignty struggles, fights are going to take place in the upcoming period; someone is making preparations for this; this process has long started.
"Shi'ite Siege From Outside
"The second siege is the sectarian/Shi'ite siege from outside. If we fail to break this siege, the destiny of Islam – not only us but all Muslims – as well as the destiny of the Islamic world will be left to the mercy of Western imperialists and their servants' evil plots. This will cost both the Islamic world and humanity dearly – God forbid! The siege from outside is, in fact, a historic siege, a siege at a scale that will turn the flow of history upside down: This is the Shi'ite-Persian empire attempt that imperialists have been striving greatly to turn into a reality.
"This attempt is invading the Sunni Arab world, which constitutes the heart of the Islamic world, step by step; it is enslaving it and carrying our unbelievable massacres such as the ones in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. When I draw attention to these murders by Iran, the horrific strategies and the creepy steps it develops in connection to the colonialist, imperialist West's puppet policies, I am accused of sectarian analysis. It is not sectarianism to say that our maps are being redrawn through sectarianism! It is spoiling the game that has been planned to entirely pave the way for a marginal sect other than the mainstream and change the Islamic world's axis, consequently the prevention of Islam's march!
"We Must Be Well Prepared To Break The Double Siege!
"Turkey was stopped with secularism. For a thousand years, Muslim Turkey that has been the representative of our civilization claims, which made it possible for us to make world history, disappeared. Secular Turkey was the project hatched in order to stop Muslim Turkey; in other worlds, it is an attempt to make us deny the civilization claims that have made it possible for us to make world history for a millennium and draw us to self-destruction and, as a result, prevent our historic march.
"The Islamic world is being stopped through Shi'ite attacks, by paving the way for Iran and the Shi'ite-Persian empire to dominate the entire Arab world; the foundations of the great sectarian war are being laid! The Shi'ite world's invasion of the Sunni world, the collapse of the Sunni backbone is a great disaster whose consequences will be extremely destructive and turn upside down the structure of Muslim societies and the flow of history.
"If Turkey is able to overcome the secular shackle siege that has led us to be stopped from within, and the Shi'ite siege from outside, we will start making both our region and the world's history again within the next century-long timeframe. Therefore, we must tread carefully, with foresight, carefully strengthening the inside front in terms of Islamic identity and sensitivities in preparation for the blessed future that we can build once again."