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Turkish AKP And UK Muslim Brotherhood Leaders Establish New Center In London

January 16th, 2021 17:25

Last year, a high-rank­ing AKP offi­cer and a senior mem­ber of an orga­ni­za­tion linked to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in the Unit­ed King­dom estab­lished a new think tank called the Cen­tre for Turk­ish-British Under­stand­ing (CTBU) in Lon­don. Accord­ing to the CTBU web­site:

The Cen­tre for British-Turk­ish Under­stand­ing aims to explore motives and for­eign pol­i­cy chal­lenges faced by both Turkey and the UK, espe­cial­ly where they inter­sect, which form the foun­da­tions of the UK-Turkey rela­tion­ship. As an inde­pen­dent, non-gov­ern­men­tal ini­tia­tive, CBTU is a plat­form for debate and dis­cus­sion on per­ti­nent issues, includ­ing but not lim­it­ed to, polit­i­cal, socio-eco­nom­ic, and cul­tur­al eco­nom­ic issues con­cern­ing Britain and Turkey as well as the wider region.

The CTBU is head­ed by Abdur­rahim Boynukalin, a for­mer Turk­ish MP for the AKP who has served as Pres­i­dent of the party’s youth wing and as the Deputy Min­is­ter for the Youth and Sports Min­istry. In Jan­u­ary 2019, Boynukalin was appoint­ed as the AKP’s Lon­don Office Representative.

(NOTE: This post orig­i­nal­ly stat­ed that Boynukalin was appoint­ed to be the AKP’s Lon­don Office Rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Jan­u­ary 2020. He was appoint­ed to this role in 2019. The rel­e­vant text has been cor­rect above.)

The CTBU’s Exec­u­tive Direc­tor is Abdul­lah Faliq, co-founder of the Cor­do­ba Foun­da­tion, head­ed by UK Mus­lim Broth­er­hood leader Anas Al-Tikri­ti. In 2009, The Cor­do­ba Foun­da­tion was described by the (lat­er) UK Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron as a “polit­i­cal front for the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood.” Faliq is also a senior offi­cial of the Islam­ic Forum of Europe (IFE), the Euro­pean wing of the Jamaat-e-Isla­mi, the South­east Asian Islamist move­ment close to the Glob­al Mus­lim Brotherhood.

The CTBU has spon­sored and sup­port­ed a num­ber of online events with high-rank­ing AKP mem­bers as well as lead­ers of the Euro­pean and US Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. They include:

The Turk­ish Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Par­ty (Turk­ish: Adalet ve Kalkın­ma Par­tisi; AKP) is the cur­rent rul­ing par­ty in Turkey led by Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The par­ty was found­ed in 2001 by politi­cians from Islamist polit­i­cal par­ties who were banned for vio­lat­ing Turkey’s sec­u­lar order, pro­claim­ing them­selves as prac­tic­ing “con­ser­v­a­tive democ­ra­cy” and reject­ing the Islamist label. The par­ty nar­row­ly sur­vived an attempt to close it via the courts for vio­lat­ing Turkey’s sec­u­lar­ism laws in con­nec­tion with its lift­ing of a ban on head­scarves at uni­ver­si­ties. The AKP sub­se­quent­ly, passed con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ments weak­en­ing the inde­pen­dence of the mil­i­tary and judi­cia­ry. The AKP has close ties with the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and oper­ates abroad with rep­re­sen­ta­tive offices in Europe, notably in Bel­gium, and has announced its intent to open them in oth­er west­ern countries.