Home / Articles / Turkey’s Coup Is a Sign of Hope for Exiled Egyptian Islamists
For Istanbul’s community of exiled Egyptian Islamists, it was déjà vu. Only three years ago, they fled to Turkey to evade the severe crackdown that followed the July 2013 ouster of Egypt’s first elected president, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi, where the Islamist government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan permitted them to hold conferences, establish a parliament in exile, and operate five satellite television networks. So when a faction within the Turkish military announced Erdogan’s overthrow on Friday, Egypt’s Islamists in Turkey feared the worst.
Ultimately events in Turkey took a different turn: The coup attempt failed spectacularly, and the Brotherhood cheered Erdogan’s survival as a sign that Islamists can, in fact, overcome a military coup. Muslim Brothers and their allies now view Erdogan as a model for plotting their unlikely return to power in Egypt.
To some extent, the Egyptian Islamists recognize that their circumstances differ from Erdogan’s. On social media over the weekend, Muslim Brothers noted that Turkey’s intelligence chief, key military officials and every major opposition party all opposed the coup. By contrast, virtually every state institution and most political parties firmly supported Morsi’s ouster three years ago. Moreover, whereas Erdogan’s base was strongly unified behind him, Egypt’s anti-coup forces are divided on ideological and strategic questions and often mistrust one another.