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Has Turkey forsaken the Muslim Brotherhood?

October 27, 2016 at 4:55 pm

There has been an increase in speculation and in comments made throughout the last few days regarding Turkey’s apparent abandonment of its ally; the Muslim Brotherhood, after Ankara discovered that its relationship with the organisation has severely harmed its relationship with the global community. The individuals who claim this, are the same individuals also claim that Turkey will soon close the Brotherhood’s shops in the country.

Those following the developments of Turkish-Arab relations know that such speculations and analyses, which have very little validity, began shortly after the visit of the Emirati Foreign Minister, Abdullah Bin Zayed, to Turkey to meet with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It is no secret that the individuals behind the invention of such speculations are either the close affiliates of the Emirati government or the citizens of other Arab countries that function within Abu Dhabi’s orbit.

After the beginning of the Arab Spring and Turkey’s stand with Arab populations in revolt against oppressive dictatorial regimes and in the pursuit of freedom and dignity, Abu Dhabi began an offensive in which it demonised Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP). As a result of this, Abu Dhabi had to justify the abrupt “U-turn” in policy when it changed its position towards Turkey and its president and conducted an official state visit to Ankara and Istanbul by sending the Emirati foreign minister to smile while standing next to Erdogan.

The Emirates has long portrayed Erdogan as the protector of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was classified by the Emiratis as a terrorist organisation and public enemy number one. Furthermore, Erdogan was described as an Ikhwanji or member of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was not easy for Emirati officials to admit that all of their claims against Erdogan were merely character defamation and a series of lies. Thus, they found a way out of their difficult situation by promoting the above-mentioned speculations for they know that those who were naïve enough to believe their lies until today will continue to believe them regardless of how irrational they may be.

There is a full-blown psychological war between those fighting the Muslim Brotherhood and those who stand in solidarity with it due to their unjustified exposure to attacks of slander. In this war, the first side does not want to make the second side happy, or to admit that they scored a goal with the UAE foreign minister’s visit to Ankara and Istanbul. For this reason, the anti-Brotherhood side is trying to attack the pro-Brotherhood side by promoting rumours and speculations that were created in Abu Dhabi.

One of the goals behind promoting the rumour that the Turkish government has forsaken the Muslim Brotherhood and has begun closing down Brotherhood affiliated business is to awaken a sense of fear in the hearts of Egyptians who have fled the oppression of the coup and an Egypt whose situation worsens with each passing day. These people have found a sense of peace, security and stability in Turkey. In other words, UAE officials want to send a message to Egyptians living in Turkey that the Turkish government can sell them at any minute and in turn, want to create a rift between them and the Turkish government and bring down their high morale.

In reality, there is no official alliance between Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood for us to discuss today whether or not the Turkish government has forsaken the political group because Turkey is a state and the Brotherhood is a political organisation. However, people with small minds believe that everyone thinks like them and they imagined that Turkey’s stand in support of oppressed nations demanding freedom and democracy could not have been due to anything other than an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood. They do not want anyone to remember their slanderous campaign against the Turkish president, which cannot be erased with a smile.

Turkey knows very well what it means to stand in support of the people’s free will while it demands justice and its position against the coup in Egypt was not the result of its support for a particular group or party. Perhaps the deteriorating situation in Egypt today stands as evidence that Turkey made the right decision in opposing the ouster of a democratically elected president with a military coup. This honourable position remains as is and will not change to please those who have developed a phobia of the Muslim Brotherhood. As for our Egyptian brothers: we opened our hearts to you before we opened our doors. Know that your shops are safe.

Translated from Arabi21, 26 October 2016

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.