Muslim Brotherhood Welcome in Turkey

Muslim Brotherhood Welcome in TurkeyMuslim Brotherhood Welcome in Turkey

Turkey would welcome senior figures from Egypt's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood after they were asked to leave Qatar under pressure from other Persian Gulf Arab states, Turkish media quoted President Tayyip Erdogan as saying late on Monday.

A senior Brotherhood official based in London said on Saturday that Qatar had asked seven senior figures from the movement to leave the country after its neighbors pressed it to stop backing the movement, Reuters wrote.

Senior Brotherhood figures would be welcome to come to Turkey if they wished to do so, Turkish television stations quoted Erdogan as telling reporters on his plane back from an official visit to Qatar on Monday.

Qatar and Turkey were the only regional countries to back the Brotherhood after Egypt's army toppled former president Mohamed Morsi last year following mass protests against him.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Persian Gulf Arab states, in contrast, have showered Egypt's new rulers with billions of dollars. They see the Muslim Brotherhood as an existential threat to their monarchies.

Ex-military chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who led Morsi's ouster following anti-Brotherhood mass protests, was elected in June as Egypt's new president. He promised during his campaign that the Muslim Brotherhood would cease to exist under his rule.

Egyptian security forces killed hundreds of Brotherhood supporters during protests against Morsi's ouster and thousands of others have been jailed.

The Brotherhood, once among Egypt's most formidable political forces, has been branded a terrorist group and its assets have been seized by the state.

The movement formally renounced violence as a means of political change decades ago and has denied any role in more recent bloodshed.

While Sisi has taken the reins of power, Morsi has languished in jail on charges of inciting violence and various other offences.