Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been named the Global Muslim Personality by a Nigerian Islamic newspaper for the third year in a row.
Erdogan was declared the winner of the 2020 Global Muslim Personality Award, tagged #MNAwards2020, by Rasheed Abubakar, the publisher of Muslim News Nigeria.
The award, which was held for the first time in 2018, aimed to celebrate Muslim achievers across professions including governance and administration.
Erdogan, while supporting secularism, has always been very open about Muslim revival in Turkey. His speeches have emphasized Turkey’s Ottoman history and domestic achievements over Western ideas and influences. Some of his supporters have even nicknamed him “Sultan”.
In 2019, the Turkish President was also declared as the winner of the Global Muslim Personality Award. The Nigerian Islamic newspaper praised Erdogan for standing up for the rights of Muslims worldwide which included Syria, Myanmar, Kashmir and Palestine.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the year 2020 has been very challenging for the whole world. Despite these challenges, Erdogan remained committed to the revival of Islam and continued his role as a leader for all Muslims.
A visionary leader
Rasheed Abubakar stated that the emergence of the Turkish President as a visionary and pragmatic leader has been a blessing not only to Turkey but to the extended global Muslim community, which has “fallen prey to the belligerence of predator nations.”
Erdogan has indeed enabled his country to project its Turkish power abroad as the Turkish military has become more involved in the conflicts in Libya, Syria and, indirectly, Nagorno-Karabakh in the Caucasus.
“From cultivating and consolidating the national capabilities of the Turkish state and its local economy, President Erdogan embarked on showing the world what it is missing in the absence of Islamic standards in matters of human rights, politics, and fairness, and equity in economic affairs,” Abubakar added.
According to the statement, some of Erdogan’s 2020 achievements included the reopening of Hagia Sophia mosque, the liberation of the Upper Karabakh region, provision of relief packages to countries hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, humanitarian assistance to marginalized Muslim communities, unwavering commitment to the Palestinian cause and raising the voice against Islamophobia.