Egyptian Police Raid Turkey’s Anadolu Agency’s Illegal Office for Muslim Brotherhood Links
Jan. 16, 2020 (EIRNS)—The security forces of Egypt raided the offices of Turkey’s official Anadolu News Agency, and arrested four of its staff for its links to the Muslim Brotherhood. The raid took place overnight on Jan. 14-15, and was approved by the Higher State Security Prosecution.
“Egyptian national security sector had observed one of Turkey’s electronic media committees that took an apartment in Cairo as a hideout for its opposing activity,” according to a statement issued by Egypt’s Interior Ministry on Jan. 15, reported Egypt’s major and oldest newspaper, Al Ahram.
Anadolu’s legal office had been shut down in 2013, following the ouster of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader, then-President Mohamed Morsi, who had the support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The news agency has been operating illegally in Egypt ever since then. The agency had been in operation under the established by the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group with the backing of Turkey, according to the ministry: “It was preparing false and fabricated reports on the political, economy, security, and human rights conditions in Egypt and sending it back the agency’s headquarters in Turkey.”
Ankara was not pleased, issuing a denunciation, and calling in the Egyptian chargé d’affaires to submit a protest. The Turkish Foreign Ministry statement termed the raid an “act of violence” and sought for Western countries to denounce it. It did not mention that Anadolu’s Cairo office had been closed down seven years ago, and was operating illegally in Egypt.
In response, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez declared that Egypt rejected Turkey’s statements and repeated Cairo’s reasons for the arrests. He further said that Turkey under President Erdogan is “one of the worst” violators of press freedom, freedom of expression and opinion, and other fundamental rights. He pointed out that in 2019, Turkey ranked 157 out of 180 in imprisonment of journalists on the Freedom of the Press Index, and that Ankara had revoked the licenses of nearly 682 journalists between November 2018 and March 2019.
Cairo’s Foreign Ministry statement accused the Turkish government of “funding extremist groups and terrorist militias in a number of countries in the region, seeking to control their fates,” according Al Ahram.
Today, the prosecutor general released the two Turkish citizens in order to hand them over to the Turkish embassy in Cairo; and has also ordered the release on bail of three Egyptians, reported Al Ahram.