Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey’s arms?

Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey’s arms?

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 24

By Rufiz Hafizoglu – Trend:

The long-forgotten phrase “Islamic resistance” literally revived after the victory of President Donald Trump in the US elections. What kind of resistance there can be without Hamas, and, of course, without the Muslim Brotherhood, which became a headache for Qatar.

As is known, these two organizations are among the key reasons which led to the Qatar crisis, the initiative on the resolution of which was taken by Ankara.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as part of his Middle East tour, visited Kuwait, as well as Saudi Arabia, which is seen as the initiator of this crisis. Erdogan also held several meetings with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud.

It should be noted that Saudi Arabia has already unblocked today the access to the Al-Jazeera TV channel, as well as to Qatari internet resources. According to Arab analysts, these decisions, like the previous steps, are a positive move for the speedy resolution of the crisis.

Previously, the states that boycotted Qatar demanded that Doha meet 12 conditions, whereas now the list of demands has been reduced to six. Meanwhile, the closure of Turkey’s Al-Rayyan military base in Qatar was excluded from the list of demands.

It is obvious that the Saudi-led bloc and Qatar will be able to agree on a partial resolution of the crisis, but there is still an unresolved issue on the agenda regarding Doha’s support to such organizations as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Several analysts in Turkey are confident that despite Qatar’s political support to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the activities of these organizations are of concern to Qatar itself and, particularly, to Turkey. Atilgan Bayar, adviser to Turkey’s former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the expert on foreign and domestic policy of Turkey, has the similar opinion.

Some Arab media outlets also hint that the latest clashes between Palestinians and Israelis in Jerusalem are a clear provocation of Hamas supporters. The call for a new intifada in Palestine is a provocation by the Hamas organization, which ideologically doesn’t differ from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Speaking about the solution of the Qatari crisis, it should be noted that Erdogan also visited Doha as part of the Middle East tour. It is not excluded that during the Turkish president’s visit, the further activities of the Muslim Brotherhood will also be discussed.

Unlike some Arab countries, Turkey doesn’t recognize the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Earlier, Turkey’s former Deputy Prime Minister and current Minister of Culture and Tourism Numan Kurtulmus in an interview with the Turkish media said, “if we take into account the recent changes in the region, we can say that the Muslim Brotherhood is the only organization that has managed to prove that it can become democratic.” The Muslim Brotherhood was successful in Iraq, Syria, Libya and in particular, in Tunisia, he added.

At the same time, it is obvious that Ankara has always wanted the Muslim Brotherhood to be more secular and similar to the Justice and Development Party (AKP). To this end, Erdogan has repeatedly called on the Muslim Brotherhood to carry out internal reforms.

However, as it is known, after the Muslim Brotherhood was removed from the political life of Egypt, arrests of leaders of the banned organization began in the country. After being banned, the Muslim Brotherhood moved into underground activity, which is not new for them, and this, in turn, will affect the political life of Egypt in the future.

Despite the ban in Egypt, one of the ideological mentors of the organization, theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi is in Qatar today. Back in 2014, Egypt demanded from Qatar to extradite al-Qaradawi, but Qatar rejected this demand of Egypt. But, what if Qatar agrees to extradite Sheikh al-Qaradawi in order to resolve the crisis?

Meanwhile, even the Arab countries that don’t recognize the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization may refuse to accept al-Qaradawi, because in almost all Arab countries there is an opinion that the Muslim Brotherhood is a real threat to the authorities.

Of course, Turkey is an exception in this issue. It isn’t known yet how the Qatar crisis will develop in the future, but if Qatar decides to expel Al-Qaradawi, Ankara may agree to accept the theologian.


Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency’s Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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