Erdogan has “made cars pass beneath sea” as Mehmet the Conqueror carried ships over land, Yildirim said. The comments were in reference to the opening in 2013 of a metro line that passes underneath the Bosphorus Strait drawing comparisons to Mehmet the Conqueror who made his forces carry ships overland to avoid capture during his seizure of Constantinople
Erdogan said, “We are connecting continents with the bridge,” adding, “People die but their work remain immortal.”
“To attain the level of a civilized nation is not possible with words but with actions,” said Erdogan.
Erdogan has often been accused of harboring neo-Ottoman policies, with the new Euphrates Shield operation in which Turkish forces are penetrating into northern Syria seen as an example of empire-building.
Only earlier this year, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused Erdogan of replicating the Ottomans who committed a genocide against Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians just a century earlier.