Turkey funding surrendered ISIS cadres to radicalize Indian Muslims
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been allocating huge funds to the Turkish intelligence under which preachers recruited from surrendered ISIS cadres help spread Turkey’s influence over Indian Muslims and elsewhere, an Indian security report has said.
According to the report, Turkey has been sponsoring ISIS and its affiliates in Syria, similar to Pakistan’s activities with IS-KP in Afghanistan. Such proxies have eliminated independent voices on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Indian security officials are also concerned over reports that Erdogan, in his efforts to bring down the Saudi leadership of the Islamic world, may find a partner in Pakistan.
“Erdogan has been using the religious institutions as well as terrorism to further his single point agenda of claiming the leadership of the Muslim Ummah. Turkey’s religious institution Diyanet has already made a substantial presence in India through its activities and now Erdogan plans to exploit ISIS Terrorists to trouble India. India shall be prepared to tackle it by adopting proactive measures,” said an official.
Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has become a central Intuition for Erdogan’s plans of becoming the new ‘Caliph’ of the Islamic world.
Erdogan has reorganized the Diyanet and delivered a huge budget to the institution, raised salaries and benefits of Imams, and is using them in the mosques as Erdogan’s party operatives.
As part of using Islam to spread Turkey’s strategic influence, Erdogan has recently formed a Religious Services Directorate. The formation of the directorate was announced on August 6, 2020, as an institution which will coordinate and deliver commands of the Defense Ministry on religious services in the Turkish Army, in addition to serving as a religious counselling service.
The staff of the directorate will be in military rank and equal to other military officers in the Turkish Army. Previously, the Turkish Armed forces were using professional imams who were serving their compulsory military services to run religious services in military camps. This religious directorate likely serves three main purposes for Erdogan’s party. The first purpose is to create new job opportunities for pro-Erdogan Imams.
Secondly, Erdogan will have the chance to control and profile more secular high-rank military officer with the help of ‘imam’ military officer. The possibility of plotting a coup against the Erdogan government has become less likely. Third, this is another premeditated step for the Erdogan regime to transfer the system from a secular democracy to religious republic.