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Convergence between Ankara and Cairo - beginning of Arab-Turkish rivalry

Politics Materials 15 September 2011 22:21
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Egypt is presented in the media of both countries as the beginning of the Arab-Turkish unity and formation of a single force in the region, but the statement by the largest Islamist opposition in Egypt gives ground to suppose that this alliance will not be successful in future.
Convergence between Ankara and Cairo - beginning of Arab-Turkish rivalry

Rufiz Hafizoglu, director of Trend's Middle East desk

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Egypt is presented in the media of both countries as the beginning of the Arab-Turkish unity and formation of a single force in the region, but the statement by the largest Islamist opposition in Egypt gives ground to suppose that this alliance will not be successful in future.

Erdogan said in an interview with Egyptian television that the revolution of January 25 became a big push for democracy and human rights in the country.

"I believe that the Egyptians would prefer to democracy in this transitional period. I think that secularism is not atheism, on the contrary - it is respect and reverence for all religions. I hope that Egypt will adopt a new secular constitution," said Erdogan.

Exactly this statement by the Prime Minister was not much welcomed by the Muslim Brothers, and the Islamists have recommended "the savior of Islam" (as Egyptians call Erdogan) not to interfere in country's internal affairs.

According to a representative of Muslim Brothers organization Mahmoud Gazlan, using Turkish democracy and political system in Egypt is not possible.

Indeed, this statement of Muslim Brothers again says that despite the political and economic cooperation of Egypt and Turkey, the Islamists are strongly against the introduction of the Turkish model of Islam, which was shaped by political thoughts of Fathullah Gulen and Nadzhmeddin Erbakan, in the Arab world.

It was assumed that after the overthrow of Mubarak, Muslim Brothers of Egypt will use the Turkish model of political Islam in its future political activities. Even the Party of Freedom and Justice created after the January 25 revolution as the political branch of the Muslim Brothers was indeed established as a follower of the Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP).

It is interesting why today a party, of which establishment was inspired by Turkey, is so concerned over Erdogan's words about democracy and secularism?

If to attentively follow the latest events in Egypt, it is possible to see that today, Muslim Brothers sees no alternative to itself in the Arab world, especially in Egypt. The political vacuum in the country and little authority of other political parties have increased the activity of Muslim Brothers.

One of the main reasons that Muslim Brothers is concerned over Erdogan's statement is the assumption of a possible split in the organization in the future. Interestingly, the main cause of preservation of Muslim Brothers as a unified system and the absence of political split in the organization is serious pressure on them.

And the creation of a new democratic system in the country will in any way affect the future activities of the organization. Exactly to prevent a possible split, Muslim Brothers expressed their strong protest against Erdogan's statement.

If the elections in Egypt in November take place, it is not excluded that Muslim Brothers will come to power in the country. If they come to power in the face of Muslim Brothers, the Arab-Turkish rivalry for the region is expected to start.

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