Turkish Muslim Brotherhood Leaders Speaks At European Paliament

Gazi Misirli

A Turkish economic development NGO has announced that Turkish Muslim Brotherhood leader Gazi Misirli spoke at a conference at he European Parliament on Turkish-Western relations in the wake of the “Arab Spring.” According to the announcement, Mr. Misirli spoke about the humanitarian situation in Syria and his work in refugee camps there:

On 7 March 2012, MÜS?AD and IKV organized a conference in the European Parliament on “East-West Relations, a Changing Arab World and Turkey”. The Conference was held under the sponsorship of MEPs Ivo Vajgl (ALDE) and Pino Arlacchi (S&D). After the welcoming and introduction by the Master of Ceremony IKV Senior Researcher Zeynep Ozler, Ivo Vaijgl and MÜS?AD President Omer Cihad Vardan took the floor to make their opening speeches. At the panel moderated by Prof. Ali Resul Usul (Bahçe?ehir University), the first speaker Syrian Gazi Misirli talked about the humanitarian situation in Syria and the work he undertakes in the refugee camps in Hatay and called on the EU to act immediately. The next speaker was Dr. Abdelkader Amara, Ministry of Industry, Trade and New Technologies of Morocco, who mentioned that the Arab Spring took start by events in Tunisia, a neighbour of Morocco and his country cannot be a spectator to what is going on in the region. He announced that a series of reforms will be undertaken to address major shortcomings most notably in the area of corruption in his country. As the last speaker on the panel Mr. Egemen Bagis, the EU Minister and Chief Negotiator of Turkey addressed a speech emphasizing the role of Turkey after the Revolution as an indispensable bridge between the East and the West.  Speakers unanimously agreed that urgent action is needed to handle the humanitarian crisis in Syria and also that Turkey’s economic development and political stability is a major source of inspiration for the Arab Spring.  The closing speech was made by MEP Pino Arlacchi, who underlined the support given by the EP. The conference was adjourned following the Question & Answer session, where Giles Portman, Turkey Adviser at the European External Action Service contributed to the debate by drawing attention to the high-level political dialogue, which was reinforced in the wake of the Arab Spring between Turkey and the EU despite the stalemate in the accession negotiations.

A post from May 2011 discussed comments made by the Syrian ambassador to Turkey in which he identified Gazi Misirli as a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey.

A Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) report on the June 2010 Gaza Flotilla had already identified Gazi Misirli as both a leader in the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood as well as being a member of the funding/endowment arm of the European Muslim Brotherhood :

Gazwan Masri, also known by his Turkish name Gazi Misirli, was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1964 and later acquired Turkish citizenship.There are conflicting reports both of Mr. Misirli’s date of arrival in Turkey and of his educational background. One media report says that he first came to Turkey in 1987 for a university education, earning a degree in Engineering Management from ?stanbul Teknik Üniversitesi and eventually marrying a Turkish woman.105 However, other media reports say he first came to Turkey in 1983.106 He later became head of the SANTRAL company that describes itself as “supplying products and goods from Turkish and international markets and marketing them in the Arab world.” Shortly after joining MÜSI?D, sometime in 1999 or 2000, Mr. Misirli became a trustee of the European Trust, a part of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), known to be the umbrella group representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe.The Trust describes itself as a “Waqf,” an Arabic term meaning a religious endowment in the form of a property earning revenues, as regulated by Islamic law. Since renamed the “Europe Trust,” the organization has amassed a real-estate portfolio of income-earning properties, a small portion of which has been used to fund FIOE or FIOE member-organization projects. At the time Mr. Misirli joined the Trust, as well as at the present, the other trustees included some of the most important Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Europe, such as Ibrahim El-Zayat, the leader of the German Muslim Brotherhood, and Fouad Alaoui, one of the leaders of the French Muslim Brotherhood.109 Illustrative of Mr. Misirli’s close connections to the current Turkish government, in April 2009 he offered on an online forum to forward letters to the office of Prime Minister Erdogan.

The JCPA report also revealed that MUSIAD, the organizer of the conference referred to above and with which Mr. MIsirli is closely associated, also played a major role in funding the Gaza Flotilla:

In the aftermath of the flotilla, the Turkish/MB network continued its support in more official statements, and at a post-flotilla event in Kuwait, Turkish/MB network leader Gazi Misirli revealed that MUSIAD had played a major role in funding the flotilla by “coordinating” donations. In addition, the Turkish/MB network was in ongoing contact with Hamas leaders as well as with the Union of Good, the coalition of charities headed by Youssef Qaradawi that raises funds for Hamas. These conclusions raise three further important issues.

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