Egypt Cancels Turkish Prime Minister’s Visit To Gaza


US media is reporting that Egypt has cancelled a planned visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Gaza Strip citing Mr. Erdogan’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted President Mohamed Morsi. According to a UPI report:

CAIRO, Aug. 5 (UPI) — Egypt canceled Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the Gaza Strip because of his support for the Muslim Brotherhood, officials said.

Erdogan had planned to visit the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, entering from Egypt, some time this month.

Egyptian authorities said they would not permit Erdogan to enter Gaza because of his support for the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted president Mohamed Morsi, diplomatic sources in Cairo told the Egyptian website Youm 7 Sunday.

Erdogan had initially planned to visit Gaza to pressure Israel into lifting its naval blockade.

Dr. Essam Da’ales, adviser to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza, told the Egyptian website a decision to postpone the Turkish leader’s visit is because of the situation in Egypt.

‘The demonstrations and protests seen in Turkey and the Arab region, particularly in Egypt — cast a shadow on Gaza and prevent Erdogan’s visit there,’ he said.

Erdogan was quoted by Today’s Zaman as saying Saturday night his country would not recognize the military-backed Egyptian interim government.

‘There is a nation whose rights have been violated in Egypt. Can someone respect this [situation]? It is not possible for me to respect this. Turkey suffered a lot from military coups. We paid the price [of the coups]and we want that our brothers don’t have to pay this [price],’ he said.

Last month, Mr. Erdogan accused Western and Arab nations of “double standards” for failing to condemn the overthrow of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Just a few days prior, he  had said in an interview with a Turkish newspaper that Morsi was the only legitimate president of Egypt.

In October 2012, the New York Times had published an article titled “Turkey and Egypt Look to Team Up Amid Tumult” that looked at what was then an emerging alliance between Egypt and Turkey. Readers of a 2011report from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) would have been advised well ahead of the New York Times about the growing role of Turkey in the Global Muslim Brotherhood, including its support of Hamas. The abstract of that report states:

There is strong evidence for Turkish governmental involvement in the Gaza flotilla incident, with Turkish government support channeled through the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood network. Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood. 

With respect to the Global Muslim Brotherhood, report’s second conclusion states:

The Gaza flotilla incident brought into sharp focus an even more significant long- term development: the growing relationship between the Erdogan government and the Global Muslim Brotherhood, which has given rise to some of the most notorious Islamist terrorist groups – from al-Qaeda to Hamas. Since 2006, Turkey has become a new center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood, while the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip acted as the main axis for this activity.

(Disclosure: The JCPA report was authored by the GMBDW editor.)

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