A new political party promoting Islamic symbols and imagery has been founded in Turkey by members who hail from heavily Muslim segments of the country. The "Ottoman Party" launched Friday, but has yet to announce its exact platform.
The head of the political group, İbrahim Ünye promised that, “Nothing will be the same. We will place everything in an institutional structure.” We will “change politics in Turkey,” Ünye said.
Ünye said the group will soon disclose what their plans are after they've had more time to discuss their goals. A political party only needs 30 members to be founded in Turkey, according to laws concerning legal political parties.
Noting that many of the founding members come “from the heart of Muslim Turkish Society,” Ünye promised the new party would, “cultivate all of the soil that our ancestors graced under the name of Turkish-Islamic unity. No one will be able to fool around on Muslim soil.”
The party still has to bring together a meeting of members and complete trainings before announcing what projects they will focus on. From there, they plan on far-reaching canvassing to get their message out to the Turkish people.
The new party’s name is a clear reference to the Ottoman Empire, which was created by Turkish tribes and ruled the region for more than 600 years until their reign ended in 1922. The empire had, at different points, a vast area it controlled from southeastern Europe (including present-day Hungary, the Balkan region and Greece) to portions of the Middle East and in North Africa as far as Algeria.
The Ottoman party comes months after an attempted coup in the country the Turkish government blamed on an imam living in the United States. The July coup attempt heightened tensions in Turkey as it attempts to grapple with violence in neighboring Syria, which has been embroiled in a civil war since 2011.