The character and personality of state leaders influences their decisions, which in turn, inevitably, shapes policy making. A clear case in point is the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who in the most recent propaganda video portrays himself as the successor of Mehmed II, commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror of Constantinople, vindicating those who have repeatedly noted his deepest aspirations of reviving the Ottoman empire in the midst of the current geopolitical volatility and uncertainty.
In the four-minute video, produced by the Ministry of Communications and riddled with imagery from the glorious Ottoman and Islamic past, a megalomaniac Tayyip Erdogan fantasizes himself a caliph and a Sultan spanning the ages from… the Battle of Manzikert (1071), to Mecca, the Balkans and Gibraltar.
Bizim için #Kızılelma büyük ve güçlü Türkiye’dir. Malazgirt’ten 15 Temmuz’a destanlar yazan milletimizin kutlu yürüyüşüdür.
Kızılelma, gölgesinde nice mazlumun serinlediği ulu çınardır.
Cebeli Tarık’tan Hicaz’a Balkanlardan Asya’ya tüm insanlığın hasretle beklediğidir. pic.twitter.com/sBLesuGqDH
— Fahrettin Altun (@fahrettinaltun) August 24, 2020
The Hagia Sophia is once again used by Turkish propaganda machine in the kitsch video, while the attempt to show Erdogan as the protector and defender of all the Muslim across the world is evident, with images of the Kaaba, the holy shrine where Muslims pray in Mecca in Saudi Arabia, are shown, as well as the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina.
At one instance in the video, the Turkish President can be seen waving at the Fatih research ship as it sails for the Aegean Sea. Garbed in traditional Ottoman military uniforms soldiers are beating the drums with shots of the Turkish Armed Forces, infantry, navy and air force in action.
The video concludes with Janissary warriors welcoming… Mehmed II the Conqueror to Hagia Sophia after the fall, with Tayyip Erdogan following in his footsteps as he walks out of the presidential palace attempting an obvious association.