FILE: Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry - Reuters
CAIRO – 16 January 2020: Egyptian Foreign Ministry voiced Egypt’s categorical rejection of the Turkish official comments on the Egyptian “legal procedures” taken by authorities against an “illegal” Turkish digital platform that worked to spread “false” news about the situation in the country.
In a statement published early on Thursday by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, the foreign ministry fiercely condemned the freedom of expression in Turkey, after the Turkish presidency described the Egyptian steps against the alleged headquarters of the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency as “hostile.”
The platform worked “under the cover of a company founded by elements of the terrorist (Muslim) Brotherhood with the support of Turkey,” the ministry spokesman said in the statement, adding that it worked to spread “false and fabricated” information about the political, economic, security and human rights situation in Egypt, while sending them to Turkey to “discredit the image of the country on the local and international levels”
All the measures taken by the relevant Egyptian authorities in this regard were carried out in accordance with the laws and regulations in force in dealing with such cases.
Directly criticizing Ankara, the statement said that the current Turkish regime takes the lead in abusing the freedom of opinion, expression and press, as well as other basic rights and freedoms, according to indicators.
The ministry also accused the Turkish regime of "supporting and financing extremist groups and terrorist militias in a number of countries in the region, with the aim of enabling them to control the fate of their peoples by force of arms and by using rogue methods of intimidation, in a desperate endeavor by the Ankara regime to achieve personal aspirations and personal goals, in order to restore a past that is based on the illusion of false glories.”
In a sharper tone, the statement said the Turkish comments would not change “the fact that the disgraced system” stained the name of Turkey, made it occupy an advanced position globally concerning imprisoning journalists, and caused it rank 157th out of 180 countries in terms of the 2019 Press Freedom Index.
Muslim Brotherhood’s plot
The Egyptian Interior Ministry on Wednesday said it could thwart schemes of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, as the ministry’s national security sector could spot an electronic platform “funded by Turkey,” with the aim of “destroying the pillars” of the Egyptian state.
In a statement published by the ministry and circulated by local media, the ministry said it could spot the platform, as its leaders rented an apartment to create “negative” press reports that contain “false and fabricated” information about the political, economic, security, and human rights situation in Egypt and send them to the headquarters of the “agency” in Turkey, to “distort the image of the Egyptian state on the internal and external levels.
The platform belonged to a company dubbed “Sita”, which the ministry said established by the Muslim Brotherhood group, designated by Egypt as terrorist, with a Turkish fund. The photos published by the ministry showed logos of the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency.
According to the ministry, the platform was led by a Turkish fugitive and other Turkish and Muslim Brotherhood figures. Police forces also arrested a Turkish civilian and three Egyptians who the ministry said belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood group.
Police also seized computer devices, mobile phones and sums of money in foreign and local currency, according to the ministry.