Is Turkey going to crack down Muslim Brotherhood aligned TV in gesture to Egypt?

CAIRO — Reviews March 19 instructed that the Turkish authorities are requesting the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated channels based mostly in Istanbul to tone down their rhetoric towards Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. These studies raised considerations as to how the Turkish authorities would cope with the group’s members on its territories, ought to a reconciliation be achieved between Turkey and the Egyptian authorities.

Al-Monitor contacted a number of workers on the Egyptian TV channels based mostly in Turkey — together with Mekameleen, El-Sharq and Watan — that are recognized to have a lot of media figures and professionals who’re against the Egyptian authorities and have been persecuted in Egypt for years for political points. Nonetheless, they left for Istanbul following the ouster in 2013 of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who was affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

A supply at El-Sharq TV, who most popular to not be named since he’s not allowed to make media statements, advised Al-Monitor, “Till midday on March 19, we now have been getting ready for packages with the identical editorial coverage and similar points we had been engaged on. There was no downside in any respect — till 6 p.m. that day.”

The Egyptian journalist mentioned he was shocked when the channel’s director requested a gathering for all workers and senior anchors. The director, he mentioned, claimed a “high-level Turkish get together” requested that the day’s episode be canceled and that the channel cease focusing on and criticizing the federal government in Cairo and Sisi himself.

The supply added, “And this was certainly what occurred. We introduced the postponement of the packages that have been scheduled for that day, together with the present of Egyptian actor-turned-TV presenter Hisham Abdullah, whose program was canceled simply 40 minutes earlier than going stay.”

This transfer comes just a few days after the statements of Egyptian International Minister Sameh Shoukry in parliament relating to Egyptian-Turkish relations. Shoukry advised the parliamentary International Affairs Committee, “Discuss alone isn’t sufficient to show Turkey’s intention to restore ties between the 2 nations.” 

Turkish officers had revealed in mid-March ongoing diplomatic and political contacts between Ankara and Cairo. In statements carried by the official Turkish Anadolu Information Company, President Recep Tayyib Erdogan confused the significance of relations between the Egyptian and Turkish peoples, hinting on the resumption of relations between the 2 nations after years of hiatus. 

Because the elimination of Morsi in June 2013 and the escape of the Muslim Brotherhood and the opposition leaders to Turkey — and different nations resembling Qatar and England — for worry of reprisal at residence, the group established three TV channels in Istanbul to interchange the Egyptian media platforms that had been closely censored up to now.

On March 18, Al-Arabiya TV reported that when the Turkish authorities demanded to cease the focusing on of the Egyptian authorities within the media, additionally they determined to put a number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Turkey beneath home arrest — one thing that was categorically denied by a high-level Brotherhood official who mentioned, “That is utterly unfounded.”

Some Brotherhood-affiliated media figures performed down the extent of the request. Medhat al-Haddad, a Muslim Brotherhood chief and director of Watan TV channel, one of many Brotherhood-affiliated channels broadcasting from Istanbul, advised Al-Monitor through telephone, “The Brotherhood channels in Turkey are working usually in the intervening time.” 

He famous, “The Turkish authorities solely requested us to decide to the media requirements and to not insult figures within the Egyptian regime. We assist the necessity to adhere to morals and media requirements usually.” 

He denied that authorities in Ankara had requested “in any approach” that the Brotherhood channels be closed or the group’s leaders expelled. “They solely requested us to scale back the variety of political packages and broadcast extra numerous social packages. [The Turkish authorities] mentioned their request was due to a present understanding between the 2 Egyptian and Turkish sides, and we utterly perceive this,” he added. 

Murad Ghorab, a Brotherhood chief who fled to Turkey in 2014, advised Al-Monitor, “The discuss putting Brotherhood leaders in Turkey beneath home arrest isn’t true, as all leaderships proceed to speak and work with no restrictions by any means.”

He mentioned, “The Turkish authorities simply gave us remarks on our work on the Brotherhood-affiliated TV channels, nothing extra. There have been no threats to shut the channels or dismiss any employees and even droop the packages. The channels have been simply requested to overview their editorial insurance policies and packages. Muslim Brotherhood leaderships proceed to fulfill in a bid to calm their members and the pro-opposition members who fled Egypt and to deal with their worry of being extradited to Egypt or deported to different nations.”

Ghorab accused the Egyptian authorities of attempting to “blow this difficulty out of proportion and to boost fears among the many Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey. We at the moment are attempting to manage and calm the state of affairs.”

In a telephone interview with Al Jazeera March 19, Yasin Aktay, an adviser to Erdogan mentioned, “The Turkish authorities didn’t order the closure of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated TV channels in Ankara. The difficulty of repatriation of opposition figures was not raised within the first place.”

Furthermore, Aktay mentioned, “Information about repatriating [Egyptian] opponents is fabricated. Turkey [refuses] to extradite any individual to Egypt or every other nation that carries out the demise penalty.”

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