A Muslim Brotherhood leader recently visited Turkey “The visitor Osama Jammal, Secretary General of the Council of Islamic Organizations of the United States and his accompanying delegation, was well treated and received by officials of the Government of Erdogan. The Turkish president is not ready to abandon the Muslim Brotherhood despite his government’s attempt to normalize relations with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel amid calamities with Turkey’s economy.
Osama Jamal met with President Erdogan and a number of government officials on May 25, 2022, and the delegation was hosted at Erdogan’s lavish palace in one of Ankara’s rare left open spaces amid a huge outcry and criticism.
Photographs from the closed-door meeting show that Jammal was seated on Erdogan’s right, across from Vice President Fuat Oktay, another Islamist. Efkan Ala, who runs foreign operations on behalf of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and a former interior minister, as well as Presidential Special Envoy to Libya Emrullah İşler, who harbors sympathetic views of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS.
Jammal and his delegation were later received by Ali Erbaş, head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet).
Erbaş asked the delegation to hold their meetings in the religious compound built by Turkey in Lanham, Maryland, in 2016 at a cost of $110 million. The center is run by the Diyanet and functions as the Erdogan government’s proselytizing arm in exporting political Islam abroad.
He also asked the delegation to be more effective in the United States and Canada, saying that they needed to fight what they described as “hostility towards Islam”.
The visit of Jammal and his delegation comes at a time when Erdogan is taking steps to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Israel. The reports that his government has been clamping down on Muslim Brotherhood activities in Turkey appears to be more tactical than a strategic realignment in order to curry favor in Cairo, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.
Observers say that despite the clear concessions made by Erdogan in the Muslim Brotherhood file and their support, these concessions did not have the weight or radical indication of his abandonment. In all his concessions to Cairo, he did not hand over a single Brotherhood member to the Egyptian authorities, despite their demand to hand them over to the fugitives.
Also, when he went and normalized his relations with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, not a single statement came out of him condemning the Muslim Brotherhood, and in most of his concessions and activities, he never said that the group was terrorist, as described by all the countries that Erdogan is working hard to normalize relations with.
This indicates that Erdogan did not abandon the Muslim Brotherhood, but rather is practicing a political tactic to ride the wave and try to save himself from the great dilemma that he has gotten himself into as a result of their support over the years, which has led Turkey’s economy to the brink of collapse.
It must also be noted that when Erdogan intensified his support for the Muslim Brotherhood, carried the banner of their cause and considered himself the Caliph of the Muslims, he wanted to achieve many goals through them, but the project of political Islam was lost, and the Brotherhood became in a deplorable state politically and even organizationally as a result of the disagreements between each other.
That is why the Turkish president, who is affiliated with the Brotherhood, must lose his luster, and that is why it is natural that we witness a cooldown in Erdogan’s arrogance and a decrease in resounding statements, funding and political support for the organization, because this situation is imposed by the current situation and is not considered a change in the policy of Erdogan and his ruling party.
And what happened in Tunisia recently, and the Turkish president’s support for the Brotherhood’s Ennahda movement and standing by it against Tunisian President Kais Saied, and his rejection of his constitutional measures against the Muslim Brotherhood, is but a simple example that Erdogan cannot change his Brotherhood origin no matter what happens.
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