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Erdogan Revives Memories of Turkic Empires in New State Ceremony

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, received Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, after passing between two columns of 16 troops, each dressed in the warrior regalia of past Turkic states, bearing period armour and toting weapons ranging from swords to lancers.

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, received Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, after passing between two columns of 16 troops, each dressed in the warrior regalia of past Turkic states, bearing period armour and toting weapons ranging from swords to lancers.

Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled a surprise today as he descended from the stairs of his new presidential palace in Ankara: a redesigned state guard evoking the Turkish people’s imperial past.

Erdogan received Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas flanked by 16 troops dressed in the warrior regalia of 16 past Turkic states, bearing period armor and toting weapons ranging from swords to lancers. State-run Anadolu Agency said it was the first time in Turkish history that such a state greeting ceremony was held.