US President Donald Trump’s threat to brand the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization could pound the final nail into the coffin of Turkey’s desire to form a Muslim Brotherhood belt from Middle East to North Africa.
It could also herald a new problem for Ankara: what to do about thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members who have taken refuge in the country in years past.
Trump’s announcement that he is considering a terrorist label for the Sunni Islamist organization came after his April 9 meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The issue adds strain to already beleaguered US-Turkey ties and is pressuring Ankara to make a decision about its Muslim Brotherhood policy.
Turkey has aimed since 2011 to have Muslim Brotherhood regimes replace the dictators deposed in the Arab Spring uprisings. Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) signed on to several adventurist foreign policy projects that first lost in Egypt, following the coup that overthrew the country’s Muslim Brotherhood-linked president, Mohammed Morsi.
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