The Muslim Brotherhood Wrap Like a Snake around Erdogan's Neck
In the summer of 2019, a story went viral about a middle-aged Indonesian man killed by a snake that he was nurturing for years. One day, while the man was bathing, the snake sneaked into the bathroom and wrapped around his body, suffocated him, and broke his bones. The man died, immediately. Later, the man’s neighbors killed the snake and buried him next to the grave of its owner. Apparently, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is about to face the same fate of the Indonesian man. The snakes of the Muslim Brotherhood, whom Erdogan hosted in his country for years, are working hard on politically suffocating Erdogan and his Justice and Freedom (AKP) party, in avenge to Turkey-Egypt reconciliation.
On April 21st, Temel Karamollaoğlu, President of Saadet Party, an Islamist opposition party in Turkey, tweeted a photo from his meeting with the Egyptian leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, who fled to Turkey in 2013. Karamollaoğlu commented on the photo, explaining that he had received a delegation from the Muslim Brotherhood, led by Hammam Ali Youssef, a member of the Brotherhood’s Shura Council. Neither the reasons or conclusions of the meeting were mentioned. The tweet came as a shock to some Turkish officials, but it was not at all surprising to observers, worldwide, who understand the true nature of the Muslim Brotherhood; a political Islamist group that is notorious for serial practice of treachery.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s betrayal to Erdogan cannot be isolated from the recent positive developments in the Egyptian and Turkish relations. Erdogan’s sponsorship of the Muslim Brotherhood, against the political changes that took place in Egypt, since 2013, caused severe tensions in relations between Egypt and Turkey. Due to the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in Turkey against Egypt, the tensions in relations between the two countries turned into rupture and hostility. The Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in Turkey were not only limited to the exaggerated media attack against the top figures of the Egyptian state, but also extended to incitement to kill policemen and military officers and assault their wives and daughters. Also, the leaders of HASM, a Muslim Brotherhood terrorist militia who live safely in Turkey, have planned to commit violent crimes inside Egypt, the most famous of which was the assassination of the Egyptian Public Prosecutor in June 2015.
After long seven years of animosity, during which the Muslim Brotherhood played a major role in fueling and perpetuating hatred between the Turks and the Egyptians, the political leadership in Turkey realized that it needs to fix relations with Egypt, even if that means abandoning the Muslim Brotherhood. Indeed, reconciliation efforts between the two countries began to take a good shape, as the security and intelligence meetings are now developing into high-profile diplomatic meetings. This prompted the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood to communicate with the opposition parties in Turkey, and offer to support them against Erdogan and his AKP.
Ironically, the Muslim Brotherhood meeting with Saadet Party, in April, was not the first. In 2019, Assem Abdul Majed, a leader of the Islamic Group, who also lives in Turkey, posted on Facebook that the Muslim Brotherhood members, led by Mahmoud Hussein, the former Secretary-General of the group, secretly allied with Saadet Party, and this alliance caused the downfall of the AKP candidates in the municipal elections, in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Antalya; due to the fragmentation of the votes in favor of Islamic parties, which consequently increased the strength of the competing candidates in the opposition.
Erdogan sponsored the Muslim Brotherhood, protected them, and privileged them over other refugees in Turkey. He even challenged Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates (UAE), to keep the Muslim Brotherhood safe and warm inside his country. Erdogan’s support to the Muslim Brotherhood costed Turkey huge losses on economic and geopolitical levels. Yet, once Erdogan realized the mistake and the Turkish state started rapprochement with Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood reached out to Erdogan’s opposition with offers to support them to quicken Erdogan and AKP defeat in municipal and general elections. Let’s hope that Erdogan opens his eyes to the risk of continuing to host the Muslim Brotherhood, before they get to him.