ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey would welcome senior figures from Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood after they were asked to leave Qatar under pressure from other Gulf Arab states, Turkish media quoted President Tayyip Erdogan as saying late on Monday.
A senior Brotherhood official based in London said on Saturday that Qatar had asked seven senior figures from the movement to leave the country after its neighbors pressed it to stop backing the Islamists.
Senior Brotherhood figures would be welcome to come to Turkey if they wished to do so, Turkish television stations quoted Erdogan as telling reporters on his plane back from an official visit to Qatar on Monday.
Qatar and Turkey were the only regional countries to back the Brotherhood after Egypt’s army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last year following mass protests against him.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Gulf Arab states, in contrast, have showered Egypt’s new rulers with billions of dollars. They see the Muslim Brotherhood as an existential threat to their monarchies.
Egypt has declared the Brotherhood a terrorist movement. The Brotherhood says it is a peaceful group.
Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz and Elif Karaca; Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Robert Birsel