İhsan Şenocak, one of the leading Turkish imams, promotes the aggressive foreign policy agenda of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, urging Turkey to occupy the rest of Cyprus as it is the burial site of Islam’s founder, Mohammed.
“The Ottoman navy greeted the Prophet Muhammad’s aunt, Umm Haram (known as Hala Sultan), with gunfire as they passed near Cyprus.
The tomb of Hala Sultan, who participated in the first Muslim expedition to the sea, is under Greek occupation,” said Şenocak.
“Let us greet Hala Sultan again and tell her we will be coming soon,” the imam wrote on Twitter, showing a video of Turkish sailors forming the words “Mavi Vatan” (Blue Homeland) on a Turkish frigate.
The tomb of Umm Haram is located in southern Cypriot city of Larnaca.
Şenocak, a radical pro-Erdoğan imam, is the founder of the so-called Center for Scientific and Intellectual Research (İlmi ve Fikri Araştırmalar Merkezi, or İFAM) and is close to prominent Turkish personalities and groups.
In recent years he has been a speaker at conferences and lectures funded by pro-government groups and institutions.
İFAM organized a series of conferences entitled “Diriliş” (Resurrection) across the country in collaboration with the controversial Foundation for Human Rights, Freedoms and Humanitarian Aid (IHH) and the Sokyal Doku Foundation, led by the preacher Yıldız, who has repeatedly called for armed jihad.
Speaking at one of the Diriliş conferences held in November 2016, Şenocak said that a Muslim army would be sent from Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολη, Turkish: İstanbul) to conquer Jerusalem and that the Jews could not prevent it.
Also, Şenocak, who served as an imam in Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), came very close to resigning in 2017, saying that women who wear pants and go to university are destined for hell.
Northern Cyprus has been occupied by Turkey since its invasion in 1974 and the latter makes continual threats to invade the rest of the island.