The foreign policy of Turkey's governing Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has been described by some as "neo-Ottoman." And now, after a recent shakeup in the state body responsible for overseeing Islam nationally, some experts are wondering whether the AKP is mulling plans to resurrect the Ottoman-era institution of the Caliphate.
Speculation mounted following the mid-November resignation of the long-time chief of The Religious Affairs Directorate, or Diyanet, which is responsible for administering religious life in Turkey. In his acceptance speech, the new head of the directorate, Mehmet Gormez, promised to "act on the principle of service to all the world's Muslims, all the oppressed nations of the globe, all Muslim minorities."
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Nicolas Birch specializes in Turkey, Iran and the Middle East.