Turkey Detains Muslim Brotherhood Members Amid Diplomatic Restoration with Egypt



Wed, 12 Jul 2023 - 01:23 GMT


Wed, 12 Jul 2023 - 01:23 GMT

FILE - Trial of the Muslim Brotherhood

FILE - Trial of the Muslim Brotherhood

CAIRO - 12 July 2023: Turkey's authorities have elevated their crackdown on members of the Muslim Brotherhood residing in the country. This move followed the announcement of restored relations and the reopening of embassies in Turkey and Egypt.

Approximately 60 members of the group, who lack identification, residency permits or citizenship, have been detained, Sources revealed to Alarabiya.

The Turkish authorities held Brotherhood members in Gaziantep prison and decided to deport those lacking any form of identification or nationality.

Seven individuals have already been deported to neighboring countries. Additionally, Turkey has halted naturalization processes and humanitarian residencies, alerting the Brotherhood leadership to cease the influx of any new members to the country.

The Turkish authorities have targeted areas where Brotherhood members reside, such as Başakşehir and Şirinevler. The move, which is designed to identify and deport all members living unlawfully in the country, coincides with new Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya's statements in the Turkish newspaper "Hürriyet," where he confirmed stepping up the operations against illegal migrants, especially in Istanbul.

Turkish authorities intend to deport all illegal immigrants within five months. They have also imposed new restrictions on the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and asked its leaders to cease any activities against Egypt from within Turkish territory.

Previously, Turkish authorities have imposed strict restrictions on the movement of Brotherhood members convicted of capital crimes, such as Nasreddin Farag Ghazlani, Magdy Salem, and Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, and refused to grant citizenship to the latter two individuals. The same restriction applies to Dr. Mohamed Elhami, a Brotherhood member who manages a group-affiliated center.

Additionally, the Turkish authorities had rejected a citizenship application from Egyptian Islamist preacher and convicted criminal, Wagdy Ghoneim. Despite his joy over Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's election victory, Ghoneim expressed sadness over Ankara's refusal to grant him citizenship. Following this, the Turkish authorities had also refused the citizenship applications and the renewal of residence permits for many other Brotherhood members, including media professionals and journalists, without providing justifications.

On July 4, 2023, Egypt and Turkey announced an elevation of their diplomatic relations to ambassadorial level. Egypt has nominated Ambassador Amr Al-Hamami as its ambassador in Ankara, while Turkey has nominated Ambassador Saleh Mutlu Shin as its ambassador in Cairo. This move aims to establish normal relations between the two countries, reflecting their mutual commitment to strengthening bilateral relations for the benefit of the Egyptian and Turkish peoples.

Relations between the two countries were severed following the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi and the group's rule in a popular uprising in June 2013, in light of Turkey and its president's support for the group and the ousted president.

Turkey hosts approximately 5,000 Brotherhood members who fled from Egypt after the revolution against the group. Of these, 2,000 have obtained Turkish nationality or residency, while approximately 3,000 others are still struggling to secure residency or citizenship and are considered illegal migrants by Turkey.



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