The Turkish elections, Erdogan’s victory, and Muslim Brotherhood’s loss
The scene on the night of May 28, 2023 bordered on the surreal and sometimes absurd! As the exaggerated joy among the followers of the Muslim Brotherhood and their lengthy sermons was pathetic, as if the winner was the president of their state, or the winning was a victory for democracy in their countries! In contrast to those delusional followers, some Muslim Brotherhood members seem to have a better understanding of reality. They claim that they are aware of the pragmatic mentality of Erdogan; hence, they see that he is not supporting them the way he did before and there is a chance that he will totally give up on them after being their strongest ally.
However, they continue their support for him not because they like him, but because they know he is their last refuge for now even if he was not the best one.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s status confirms one thing, and it is that they have not learned anything during the past ten years. They have not learned yet that they are just a tool used by states and regimes to achieve short-term goals, only to be forsaken and sacrificed for being a part of a deal struck between two parties.
Many Brotherhood analyses and readings of the current scene in Turkey and the results of the old veteran's victory in the Turkish elections seem far from reality and reflect the Brotherhood's aspirations. What is remarkable about these articles and ideas is that they expect Erdogan to return before 2021 and to turn his back on all the reconciliations that took place with the Arab countries, especially the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Unaware that the rules of the game have changed and that there are interests greater than their dreams and illusions, some of them will realize this fact late; as for the majority, they will remain stuck in their delusions.
What Erdogan did in terms of reconciliation was not a political and diplomatic maneuver to win the elections, as some would like to see it. Instead, those steps came to correct a wrong path and a losing bet that lasted for more than a decade. The price was primarily paid by the Turkish people and the Turkish economy. Now Erdogan has a real opportunity to correct the mistakes of the past and end his political life with internal achievements, especially regarding the Turkish economy, which has worsened lately. External achievements by improving Turkey’s relations with Arab countries, ending its political disputes and military interventions, and building economic partnerships based on common interest, President Erdogan, with his pragmatic personality, undoubtedly seeks to achieve the biggest gains.
The initial indications, since the day after the Brotherhood’s joy for Erdogan’s victory, were undoubtedly frustrating, and so will be the following and coming days. It will make them stick in their places trying to understand what is happening. The first to congratulate Erdogan was His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, as well as Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and other Arab leaders. The second day after Erdogan’s victory witnessed a decision announced by both Turkish and Egyptian presidencies to immediately start upgrading diplomatic relations and exchanging ambassadors, in a step that would significantly change the political, economic, and security equations in the region.
It was noticeable the Arab interest in the recent Turkish elections, and, naturally, these elections are important to the Arabs, as many Arab countries have either ties or disagreements with Turkey, in addition to the fact that Ankara played a negative regional role and interfered in the internal affairs of some Arab countries during the past years. Moreover, Turkey’s relations with several groups and entities in Islamic countries were revealed, as well as its support in the past years for political Islamic groups against several Arab regimes, such as the Muslim Brotherhood. All of the aforementioned makes it crucial to follow the Turkish elections to predict the upcoming relations with Ankara.
As for the Egyptian-Turkish rapprochement, it must have conditions that Erdogan must abide by, including easing the tone of the attack against Egypt and stopping the Brotherhood channels and media from attacking Egypt. One of the results of this rapprochement is the intelligence cooperation between the two countries, which has obviously increased and developed in the recent period and helped the recent rapprochement, which will result in Ankara not allowing any plans targeting Egyptian national security to pass from its lands, especially those expected from some armed groups based in Turkey.