Reblog: Secret wiretap reveals Erdogan government’s clandestine links to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

I reblogged this piece by Turkish journalist Abdullah Bozkurt regarding interesting wiretap that reveal Erdogan’s frustration with the Muslim Brotherhood after ousting of Morsi in 2013. You can read the original piece here.


The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan grew frustrated with the Muslim Brotherhood when protests lost their strength in the aftermath of the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, secret documents have revealed.

According to a classified wiretap that recorded the private conversations of Erdoğan aide İbrahim Kalın and pro-government businessman Abdullah Tivnikli, Kalın lamented the fact that the Brotherhood’s protests were winding down in Egypt. Kalın was deputy undersecretary of the Office of the Prime Ministry  and chief foreign policy adviser to Erdoğan at the time. He currently works at Erdoğan’s palace as spokesperson and special advisor.

“[The] Brotherhood’s latest rallies have lost momentum,” he told Tivnikli, who asked how things in Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood were going. “How long they can keep these [demonstrations] up, I’m not really sure,” Kalın added. Tivnikli, a long-time ally of Erdoğan who ran a company called Eksim Investment Holding until his death in November 2018, sounded worried that Hamas could be the next casualty after the Brotherhood in Egypt. “Sure, they [the US and its European and Gulf allies] are weakening Hamas quite a bit now,” Kalın responded.

The wiretap was authorized by an Istanbul court on August 29, 2013 as Turkish prosecutors had been investigating dozens of people including government officials on allegations of running an organized crime syndicate. The recorded conversation took place on September 1, 2013 and was included in the criminal case file against Kalın, Tivnikli and many others.

In the phone conversation Kalın also predicted that things would get worse if some factions of Hamas were to resort to arms and assured Tivnikli that the government was trying to resolve the deadlock (between the military and the Brotherhood) in Egypt. Asked whether Turkey had lost its influence in Egypt, Erdoğan’s advisor said they still had leverage over the Muslim Brotherhood, which was refusing to cooperate with the Americans or the Europeans to find a resolution to the deadlock. Tivnikli suggested that the matter be handled under the guise of shoring up democracy in Egypt rather than openly supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. Kalin said there were deeper issues at play in Egypt and did not want to talk about them on the phone.


About nervana111

Doctor, blogger and Commentator on Middle East issues. The only practising doctor who write in Middle Eastern politics in UK.
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