Exiled Brotherhood leaders would be welcome in Turkey: Erdogan
ISTANBUL // Turkey would welcome exiled leaders of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood who are relocating from Qatar, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
A Brotherhood official said on Saturday that Qatar had asked several members of the group to leave the country where they had sought refuge after the fall of Egypt’s Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
“If they make any request to come to Turkey, we will review their request,” Mr Erdogan said after visiting Qatar on Monday.
“If there are any reasons that would prevent them from coming to Turkey, they would be assessed. And if there aren’t any obstacles, they would be granted the ease that is granted to everyone,” he said.
Doha has been under pressure from other Gulf states to cut its support for the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups.
Turkey and Qatar were the only regional countries to back the Brotherhood as they rose to prominence after the Arab Spring uprisings. Their influence in the region has since waned, culminating in Mr Morsi’s removal from power by Egypt’s army last year following mass protests against him.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and other GCC members have grown increasingly concerned about the Brotherhood and see them as a threat to stability in the region.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia have both declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. The Brotherhood says it is a peaceful group.
* Agence France-Presse and Reuters
Updated: September 16, 2014 04:00 AM