Türkİye, Middle East

Brotherhood hails Turkish president's defense of group

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood praises Turkey’s Erdogan for refusing to label group ‘terrorist organization’

21.02.2017 - Update : 21.02.2017
Brotherhood hails Turkish president's defense of group

By Rabia al-Sokkary


Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood group has praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his refusal to blacklist the movement as a "terrorist" organization.

In an interview last week with the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television channel during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, Erdogan said he did not consider the Brotherhood a terrorist group.

"This honest and fair position by Erdogan was not strange from a man who has always adopted strong and unbiased positions," Brotherhood deputy leader Ibrahim Munir said in a statement on Monday.

"This was not an unusual move by Turkey, a country that has always striven to help the oppressed for the sake of freedom and an honorable life," he added.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been the target of a fierce crackdown by the Egyptian authorities since a 2013 coup ousted Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first freely elected president and a Brotherhood leader.

In late 2013, Egypt’s post-coup authorities blacklisted the Brotherhood as a "terrorist" organization.

In recent days, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has reportedly been thinking about blacklisting the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

Munir, for his part, said his movement would not abandon its peaceful efforts to bring about political change.

"The Brotherhood will never disappoint Erdogan -- or any other of the movement’s defenders -- no matter what the pressures are," he said.

In the interview, Erdogan said he considered the Brotherhood an "ideological" organization rather than a "terrorist group".

"I don’t consider the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization as it is not an armed group. It is, in fact, an ideological organization," he said.

Turkey has remained a vocal critic of Morsi’s 2013 overthrow by the Egyptian military, describing his ouster -- and subsequent imprisonment -- as a "military coup".

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