It was about the curse against Ataturk at Friday prayers by the head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, who used the words of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, who transformed the Hagia Sophia into a mosque as soon as he conquered Istanbul, "Cursed be those who change the status of this foundation."

Although historian Murat Bardakçı has repeatedly stated that the Hagia Sophia document does not contain those words, everyone saw and understood that the head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs targeted the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, with those words.

Based on the principle of equal distance between religions, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk decided on November 24, 1934, to transform the building, which had been built as a church 10 centuries ago and had been used as a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul, into a museum. Political Islamists aside, when the curse by the head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, founded by Atatürk in 1926 to separate religious affairs from the state, against the founder of the Republic sees a very harsh reaction from society, not only did the head of the Directorate deny his word, but that part of the Friday sermon was also removed from the website of the Directorate of Religious Affairs.

Political parties, NGOs, and people from all social strata have brought the issue to court. President Erdoğan remained silent, the small supporter of the government, the MHP, on the one hand, defended Atatürk, on the other hand, protected the head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs. The two parties that separated from the AKP have criticized the "making prayer a state protocol". Muharrem İnce, the 2018 presidential candidate of the main opposition Republican People's Party, who was invited to Friday prayers, also sued the head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs. That is, invitation, prayer, and from there to the court...

We characterized the victory of the opposition bloc candidate in the second election to the Istanbul Municipality on June 23, 2019, by 810,000 vote differences as a "second tectonic fracture in political Islam", taking into account the general results of the March 31 election.

In the 13 months since then, there has been no better litmus test than the July 24 Hagia Sophia prayer to see how much the "fracture" has infected Turkish society.

Following the "curse" against Atatürk, who is the founder of the Turkish Republic and transformed the Hagia Sophia from a mosque into a museum, in prayer, although the president's son raised the issue that "it was wrong to abandon the Arabic alphabet" and aimed to write this in the "bond cell" of political Islam, the community did not take it seriously.

To what extent did the voice of the "caliphate" from the Akit newspaper, the most radical "base of ideas" of Turkish political Islam, excite political Islam itself? – It seems it did not excite enough so that social repercussions could not be measured.

The "curse" against the founder of the Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, by the head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs in the July 24 prayer, was returned to him by the community. The measurement of the tectonic fracture in Turkish political Islam 13 months later revealed that the processes on this side of politics are in a serious "melting" stage.

This was shown by the fact that economic problems soon became the main agenda of the country again. That is, if we connect it with the famous dialogue - “There is no God. Is there cabbage?” - in the Icelandic sagas, which were formed 4,000 years ago, we have seen that the religious sentiments that have dominated Turkish politics for 25 years have once again lost their dominance to bread (as in the case of “cabbage” in Icelandic sagas).

Of course, this does not mean that religious sensitivities have completely disappeared from the circulation of political Islam, and as long as religion is used as a tool in politics, this factor will remain in circulation. We are talking about the anatomical analysis of the scene revealed by the July 24 prayer and the conclusion that this scene presents to us.

So, is the "caliphate and caliph" on the agenda at a time when the agenda is rapidly turning into "bread"?

There is no doubt that it is on the agenda and will be. Because for Turkish political Islam, the "caliphate and caliph" is a categorical concept, and even if it becomes the most marginal, it will always be kept in circulation in order to remain standing.

Mayis Alizade

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