Recep Tayyip Erdogan spotted tearful six-year-old Amine Tiras while delivering a speech at his ruling party's congress in the city of Kahramanmaras on Saturday.
The amount of students going to Islamic schools has increased sharply since 2012 and the government plans to double its funding for religious upper schools this year, according to Reuters. The girl has not been identified and was not immediately clear why she was wearing a military uniform.
'Look what you see here!
Good news, little girl, you're ready to die for Allah. We have our maroon berets as well, but maroon berets never cry.
'She has a Turkish flag in her pocket too.
"If she is martyred, a flag will be put on her, Allah willing", he says to the crowd.
The confused girl only answered: "Yes". When he called her on stage, she started weeping.
The freakish scene was accompanied by the party members" cheers "Chief! The audience referred to the northern Syrian enclave held by the Kurdish militias, whom the Turkish forces have been targeting in their "Olive Branch' military operation".
Some people were appalled and took to Twitter to criticise the president.
The speech has been described as "child abuse" and a glorification of death.
Speaking at a meeting at the presidential palace on February 21, president Erdogan declared, making allusion to UAVs: "We will carry it a step further".
"Could Erdogan have said the same thing for his grandchild?"
On Monday (Tuesday NZT), Turkey sent special forces to the Afrin region after Ankara said a United Nations resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire throughout Syria did not apply to its offensive.
The stronger ties were also felt in air travel, as national flag carrier Turkish Airlines now flies to 52 destinations in 33 African countries.