The Turkish government, on the direction of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has started construction work on a massive military complex that will house defense workers, pompously dubbed the “Turkish Pentagon.”
The foundation stone was laid on August 30, 2021, to coincide with National Independence Day. According to Nikkei Asia, during the ceremony, the neo-sultan stressed that the new structure - tentatively called the Crescent - will serve to “instill terror” in the enemies of Turkey.
In his speech, Erdogan explained that the complex will cover an area of approximately 12.5 square kilometers and house up to 15,000 defense personnel. By comparison, the US Pentagon and the entire surface of the Capitol could fit in any of the five corners that make up the structure.
According to the published images, the Turkish “star and crescent” complex has a ring structure similar to that of the Pentagon, while taking inspiration from the national flag. Completion is scheduled for 2023, the year of the next presidential elections.
The building will be reserved for military and defense ministry personnel. “In this place,” said Erdogan, “we will establish a structure which will inspire fear in our enemies because of its location and which will be able to give confidence to our friends at the same time.”
The ceremony was held on August 30 to coincide with the Turkish National Day, which celebrates the victory of the Battle of Dumlupınar, one of the key moments of the Revolutionary War of the 1920s. It is one of the dates having the highest symbolic value for the whole country.
The Pentagon-style Crescent is just Sultan Erdogan's latest move to bolster Turkey's military might, with an internal propaganda lens aimed at increasing his popularity ahead of the 2023 election.
Ankara has long focused on the local production of weapons and war equipment, developing drones to compete with the U.S. attack drone Reaper, as well as the production, design, and construction of its own warships.