The security advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has confirmed his resignation.
Adnan Tanrıverdi, a retired general in the Turkish army, issued a statement announcing the reasons for his resignation and Erdogan’s consent on his decision.
“I have requested to be laid off from my post, the principal consultancy and the membership of the Presidential Security and Foreign Policy Committee, due to my increased age and the increasing smear campaigns [against me],” Tanrıverdi’s statement read.
Erdogan’s advisor has been criticized for his speech at an Islamic conference in December when he said his private security company, the SADAT International Defence Consultancy, was working to prepare the world for the Mahdi.
“Will the Islamic unity come true? And how will it be? [It will become a reality] when the Mahdi comes [descends]. Then, when will the Mahdi come. God knows. Well, isn’t there anything that we can do [before his coming]. Should not we prepare a suitable environment [for the Mahdi],” Tanrıverdi said during the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit.
The Mahdi (“the guided one” in Arabic) Tanriverdi was referring to, is an eschatological figure in some Islamic traditions who believe he will appear and rule before the Day of Judgment and rid the world of evil.
This was not the first time that Tanrıverdi revealed his dream for Islamic unity.
In February last year, during the second International Islamic Union Congress supported by his Strategic Research Centre for Defenders of Justice (ASSAM), Tanriverdi detailed a confederal Islamic state that would encompass 61 Muslim-majority states grouped under eight classifications based on the ethnicity and location of the countries.
Tanriverdi established the SADAT in 2012 after he was expelled from the Turkish military (TSK) over his alleged ties to Islamist activities.
Similarly, some other SADAT employees were specialized war experts who had been dismissed from the TSK due to their Islamist leanings, according to some reports.
It is believed but never officially confirmed that the SADAT has been training members of the Free Syria Army (FSA), which has been fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad since the eruption of the civil war in the country in 2011.
The training has been allegedly carried out under the auspices of the Turkish security services.
Tanriverdi’s SADAT came to the fore once again when reports said in December that Turkey was planning to send its ally Syrian fighters to Libya with which it signed a security agreement in November.
Late in December, the Turkish parliament passed a motion allowing the deployment of troops in Libya for one year in support of the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
Tanriverdi openly commented that his choice would be mercenaries instead of sending official troops there.
The resignation came shortly after a joint call by Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on January 8, an act signaling that the deployment of troops or mercenaries in Libya has lost ground.
Erdogan appointed Tanriverdi as the chief security adviser in 2016 in the aftermath of a coup attempt, which was blamed on Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen and his followers.
Many, including the international media, believe that the SADAT played an active role in suppressing the coup bid on July 15, 2016.
Besides that, the SADAT was also accused of creating the Esedullah Teams, a special operations force that was active during the urban conflicts between the TSK and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority southeast in 2015.
A 2016 report on Turkey by the European Union (EU) hold the teams responsible for “grave human rights violations, including the deliberate killing of civilians.”
In January 2018, Meral Aksener, the leader of the center-right opposition Good Party (IYI), claimed that the SADAT was running training camps in central Anatolia in a bid to create chaos in Turkey during elections in June the same year.