Erdogan’s Victory Gives Egypt’s Islamists Hope that They Can Overcome a Coup

Syrian rebels say Turkish people defeated conspiracy against Turkey

The attempted coup in Turkey was seen by exiled Egyptian Islamists living in Istanbul as nightmare, but its failure gave more hope for the Egyptian community living in Turkey. New York Times‘s Eric Trager –a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy -published an article titled: “Turkey’s Coup Is a Sign of Hope for Exiled Egyptian Islamists”.  He said, it was a “déjà vu” as the Egyptians will revive the memory that happened three years ago.

In fact, Egyptian Islamists 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 by a military coup.

The exiled Egyptians were received in Turkey with great hospitality as the Islamist government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan permitted them to hold conferences, establish a parliament in exile, and operate five satellite television networks.

As a result, it was a nightmare for the exiled Egyptian community when a faction within the Turkish military announced Erdogan’s overthrow on Friday, Egypt’s Islamists in Turkey feared the worst.

However, the situations in Turkey took another path as the attempted coup failed 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,” said Eric Trager.

But the Egyptian Islamists realized from perceiving the attempted coup closely that their circumstances differ from Erdogan’s. Trager has pointed out the difference between Egypt and Turkey’s coup. He said that “On the 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 the military coup that led to 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.”

Despite the difference circumstance the Islamists still believe that Erdogan’s victory can inspire Egypt’s various opposition movements to come together.

Brotherhood leader Gamal Heshmat said in an interview with WAM Times, “Perhaps this will lead revolutionaries inside and outside Egypt to unify around the goal of ending this coup.”

“Other Brotherhood leaders suggested that Erdogan’s success indicates that no coup can last forever. And whenever Egypt’s current regime falters, the Brotherhood intends to follow Erdogan’s example in quickly targeting enemies within the state, “ said Trager.

In this context, the failure of the attempted coup in Turkey has increased the fantasies and hopes of Egypt’s Islamists who some of them are now sharing their revenge fantasies regarding what they will do to their adversaries once the Brotherhood regains control.

Giza Brotherhood leader Badr Mohamed Badr wrote,“I hope to see the bodies of those who participated in the Turkish coup hanging in the biggest public squares until coups end and inevitably, God willing, this will happen with the military gang in Egypt.”

In addition, Amr Farrag, founder of the Brotherhood-affiliated news site Rassd, was more explicit, “I live for the day when I can see [Egyptian defense minister] Sedky Sobhy’s brain on asphalt,” he wrote, recalling similar images from anti-Brotherhood crackdowns.

“In other words, while Erdogan’s victory showed Egypt’s Islamists that they can overcome a coup, it is another reason for Egypt’s current leaders to do everything they can to prevent this,” wrote Eric Trager.

In fact,the military coup led by al-Sisi in 2013 has launched bloody crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood activists and supporters. The military regime has killed, imprisoned, tortured and sent to life and death sentences thousands of Islamist political opponents.