Erdoğan gives conquest sermon in support of Turkey's Syria operation

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recited the Conquest Surah from the Quran in regards to Turkey's operation in northeast Syria after he performed Friday prayers along with opposition's Istanbul mayor, secular opposition daily Cumhuriyet reported.

"We will be merciful among ourselves. And, we will be violent against heathens, as we are in Syria," Erdoğan said after the prayer while he was translating the Conquest Surah to the crowd.

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has been in the crosshair of Erdoğan since he took control of the municipality in last local elections, which had been held by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its predecessors since 1994. 

Friday prayer was one of those rare occasions that Erdoğan and İmamoğlu come together since the Turkish president does is not often seen together with the opposition mayor in public.

The Conquest Surah has been coming to fore as Turkey carries out a military operation in Syria targetting Kurdish forces in the region. Turkey’s religious authority earlier called on all religious clerics in over 90,000 Turkish mosques to read the Surah and invited the community to pray for Turkish soldiers during Turkey's offensive into the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in Syria. And, a similar call was made after Turkish military operation in northeast Syria started on Oct. 9.