Muslim Brotherhood TV channel leaves Turkey during Ankara-Cairo thaw

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated satellite channel Mekameleen TV is moving all its operations from Turkey amid increased efforts for a thaw a in relations between Ankara and Cairo, Diken news site reported on Saturday.

The channel’s departure from Turkey is part of an effort to continue “the ability to report freely,” it cited the network as saying in a statement released on Friday.

“We take this chance to thank Turkey’s people and their leadership for the hospitality over many years, which goes to show our deep shared roots that transcend any current crisis,” the statement said.

Relations between Turkey and Egypt were fractured after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to power in a 2013 military coup and launched a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, which was declared a “terror group” by Cairo in the same year. 

Turkish President Erdoğan, who had forged close ties with the ousted Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi, frequently condemned Sisi as a dictator and Turkey became a safe haven for Egyptian exiles opposed to the government in Cairo.

But last year, Egypt and Turkey resumed diplomatic contacts, holding rounds of exploratory talks at deputy foreign minister level in May and September. 

Turkey last year ordered Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated television channels based in Istanbul to halt criticism of the north African country, in a concrete step towards a thaw, Saudi news outlet Al Arabiya reported.

Two other Brotherhood-affiliated networks, Watan and El Sharq, also operate from Turkey.

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