(Worthy News) – In what many observers see as an effort to exert substantial control over the Mediterranean in view of restoring the former glory of the Ottoman Caliphate, Turkey has begun sending Syrian mercenaries to Libya to bolster the UN-backed government there against General Khalifa Haftar and his rebels.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that 1,700 troops are being trained in Turkey and 2,400 have already arrived in the country with the goal of eventually having a Turkish-backed troop presence in Libya that is 6,000-strong.
“We will present our souls for the Ottoman Caliphate,” has become the battle cry of the Turkish-backed Syrian hired guns on the flight to Libya, according to the SOHR.
Turkish President Erdogan has numerous times called for the re-establishment of the Ottoman Empire, regarded as a Caliphate by Muslims, such as in a 2015 speech commemorating 562 years since the sacking of Constantinople.
“Conquest is Mecca, conquest is Saladin, it’s to hoist the Islamic flag over Jerusalem again; conquest is the heritage of Mehmed II and conquest means forcing Turkey back on its feet,” Erdogan said at the time.
Many have seen a maritime agreement struck between Turkey and Libya two months ago, by which the two countries intend to share control of a large swath of the Mediterranean, as well as Turkish intervention in Libya, as a series of bold moves to regain the former borders of the Ottoman Sunni Caliphate.
The Christian population in Turkey has declined from 22% to .21% since 1900, with only .008% of the population identifying as evangelical, according to Operation World.