In December 2020, the Sinan Wren Foundation, a Turkish-British self-described “thought leadership” group providing media and executive training courses to young Muslim leaders, held the latest of its annual “Nelson Mandela Leadership Programs.” According to a course description on the foundation’s website:
Sinan-Wren Coaches work with our global participants through a comprehensive and very intense 5 day programme that seeks to build leadership through a multi polar approach. By focusing on case studies about leading global corporations, historic and topical world events, showcasing challenges as well as solutions deployed by governments and NGOs whilst honing in on the ability to work in an entrepreneurial international team, our alumni leave with having been part of a unique experience.
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Past Sinan Wren lecturers include Intissar Kherigi, daughter of the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi, and its course alumni include Abrar Omeish, daughter of former Muslim American Society President Esam Omeish, who in 2007 had to step down from a Virginia State Commission post after advocating for jihad. Other course participants include Kauthar Bouchallikh and Ibrahim Kraria, who have served on the executive committee of the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations, the youth/student arm of the Global Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. FEMYSO has also advertised Sinan Wren programs on social media.
Since 2015, the foundation’s Istanbul office has been headed by Murat Yasa, a former head of the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, the major sponsor of the June 2010 Gaza Flotilla involved in a violent altercation with Israeli naval forces. Our predecessor publication also reported on IHH recruitment of “human shields” for Gaza, the investigation of the IHH President for financing Al-Qaeda through the IHH, and allegations that IHH might have been involved in transporting weapons to Syria on behalf of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. In London, Sinan Wren’s registered address is also known to have been used to register a large number of companies tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, including Al-Quds TV and Britain 2 Gaza.
Past GIOR reporting about influence operations where members of the Turkish government have acted in concert with the Global Muslim Brotherhood has included:
- A December 2020 report that Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) had intensified its relations with the Turkish Islamist Millî Görüş movement in Germany.
- A December 2020 report that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had sent a video message expressing his support for the Muslim American Society, part of the US Muslim Brotherhood.
- A January 2021 report that a high-ranking AKP officer and a senior member of an organization linked to the British Muslim Brotherhood had established a new think tank.
- A February 2021 report detailing Turkish efforts to use soft power influence in Europe to establish a hegemonic position in the Muslim world.
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