Erdoğan’s chief advisor: We are working to open the way for the Mahdi, the redeemer of Islam

Adnan Tanriverdi

Levent Kenez


Adnan Tanrıverdi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s chief military advisor and the owner of paramilitary company SADAT, announced that his organization, which is fully funded and supported by the Turkish government, has been working to pave the way for the long-awaited mahdi (prophesied redeemer of Islam), for whom the entire Muslim world is waiting.

He also expressed his conviction that a union of Muslim states will no doubt become a reality one day.

Speaking to the Turkish government’s anti-Semitic, anti-Christian mouthpiece Akit TV on December 23, 2019 following a session of the International Islamic Union Congress, organized by the Strategic Research Center for Defenders of Justice (ASSAM), retired general Tanrıverdi said Islamic countries should produce their own defense materiel and weapons among themselves, claiming one cannot defy others with the weapons of others. Tanrıverdi believes that Turkey’s defense industry will be capable of supplying whatever is required by 2023.


The Islamic Union Congress is a series of gatherings that started in 2017 and will continue until 2023. This year’s theme was the “Establishment of Defense Industry Cooperation Procedures and Principles for Islamic Union”; however, keynote speaker at the opening session Ali Erbaş, the head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, addressed  the need for a union of Muslim states, not surprisingly in parallel with Erdoğan’s radical and political Islamist aspirations. According to the organizers, participants from 44 Muslim countries attended the conference, although the number of attendees in the hall would tend to belie that claim.

Turkish Airlines (THY) was one of the sponsors of the defense industry event, which is not surprising given that Turkey’s flag carrier was alleged to have been involved in carrying arms to Boko Haram in Nigeria in 2014. State-owned military electronics producer Aselsan, military avionics manufacturer Havelsan and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) were other sponsors along with municipalities run by the Erdoğan’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP).

It is no secret that ASSAM is promoting the idea of an Islamic union to be spearheaded by the Turkish president. Undermining the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), under the influence of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which both have uneasy relations with Turkey due to Ankara’s unprecedented support for Muslim Brotherhood organizations, Erdoğan is engaged in efforts to substitute his own organization to pursue his caliphate-like leadership among the Muslim world.


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ASSAM has also drafted a constitution for an Islamic confederal state whose capital is İstanbul and official language is Arabic. It is apparently a clumsy copy of Turkey’s constitution, including literally the same provisions. It is interesting that the AKP promised to draft a  new constitution that would be more democratic and liberal than the current charter, which was produced by putschists in 1982. ASSAM’s constitution has a special section for the president of the confederal state who is in fact an elected caliph.

Tanrıverdi recently said Turkey must establish a private military contractor firm like America’s Blackwater or Russia’s Wagner to assist and train foreign troops, supporting Erdoğan’s idea of establishing a mercenary company that serves abroad.

Lawmaker Necati Yılmaz, from Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), had asked the government in 2016 about the alleged role of SADAT in training Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters and alleged close relations between Turkish intelligence agency MİT and SADAT.

İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener also claimed that civilians close to the ruling party were receiving arms training in Konya and Tokat provinces in 2018. “SADAT is one of those groups [providing training]. … Those groups will pull people into clashes. I’m warning [the government] right now: I want measures to be taken,” she added.


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