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Feb 24 2019

Muslim Brotherhood members living in exile fear extradition by Turkey - analyst

The extradition of a member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood by Turkey earlier this year has prompted fears about their fate among the group’s members in exile, wrote Arab Weekly contributor Hassan Abdel Zaher on Sunday.

Egyptian Mohamed Abdel Hafiz Hussein, 25, a known Muslim Brotherhood member who had been sought by Egyptian authorities, was handcuffed and pictured on a plane to Cairo following his arrival at İstanbul’s Atatürk Airport on January 16.

The image went viral.

Reports indicate that Hussein was reeking asylum in a country that had previously welcomed high-profile Muslim Brotherhood members following the 2013 ousting of Islamist President Muhammad Morsi.

Brotherhood figures who are living in Turkey are reportedly considering their situations, Abdel Zaher wrote.

“I expect all Egyptians in Turkey to be killed, me being the first one,” he quoted Saber Mashhour, a Muslim Brotherhood journalist, as saying. “Our information has been given to Egyptian intelligence.”

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood members fled Egypt for Turkey as their homeland and other Arab countries have outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood and designated it as a terrorist organisation, the article noted. Malaysia, Sudan and Qatar are among the other countries that Brotherhood figures escaped following Morsi’s downfall.

“The fear among the members of the Brotherhood in Turkey is quite clear,” a former member of the Brotherhood and a specialist in Islamist movements Sameh Eid said. “Most of these escaped members do not know what the future holds for them.”

Cairo has requested the extradition of hundreds of figures convicted in court, Abdel Zaher wrote, noting that Turkey hosts several Brotherhood television channels that often criticise the Egyptian government.

Despite an attempt by a senior adviser Yasin Aktay to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to calm fears through a February 6 opinion article for the pro-government newspaper Yeni Şafak, Abdel Zaher said, members of the group remain concerned.

“During the leadership of (Egyptian President Abdel Fattah) al-Sisi, Turkey has not and does not hand over anyone facing the death penalty or any other charges,” Aktay wrote in the article.

“The view among political observers in Cairo is that the Muslim Brotherhood could be the first sacrifice if Turkey seeks a return to the regional fold,’’ the article noted.