Saturday, August 10, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood network in Balkans through Istanbul, by Ioannis Michaletos

The network of the Muslim Brotherhood (M.B.) in Istanbul is directly related to that operating in the Balkan region and it also plays the role of the hub and coordinator, as well as, intermediate between the incumbent Turkish government and that of influential Islamic powers such as Qatar and until recently Morsi's government in Egypt.

The role of M.B. in the Syrian civil war is of importance as well, since it uses its influence in Turkey to facilitate the export of arms and mercenaries in Syria, a development which is also related to the recruitment process of Balkan based "Mujahedeen" that are first transferred to Turkey before eventually find themselves in the Syrian battlefields. 

The decline of the M.B is already evident as the events in Egypt have showed and in time it will also be one of the causes for further unrest in Turkey itself which is divided between socio-religious fault lines, with the Islamists and the secularists on each side. The decline of the M.B. will also have its ramifications in the Western Balkans especially with other strands of political Islam possibly vying for power and in order to fill the gap. 

Main Turkish organizations related to the Muslim Brotherhood

-Mustakil Sanayici ve Is adamları Dernegi (M U S I Ȧ D)

It’s the union of businesspersons that are aligned with the Islamist AKP governing party. It was established in 1990 and was of the main initiators is Gazi Misirli, who was a member of the governing board of Europe Trust an M.B. affiliated fund collaborating with the "Umbrella NGO" "Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe" (FIOE).

-  Ιnsan Hak ve Hurriyetleri ve İnsani Yardım Vakfı (IHH)

The IHH became notoriously famous in May 2010 during the "Gaza flotilla" incident. It was established in 1995 and it is also linked with M.B. organizations based in USA from where it has received funds in the past. 


This Islamist human rights organization was formed in 1991 and apart from M.B. it is also linked with the Pakistani Jamaat-e-Islami. Its President is Ahmet Unsal who was between 2002-2007 a Member of Parliament for AKP and representative of the Turkish Parliament in NATO, as well as "international Amnesty board member". In Mazlumder, Gazi Misirli who was mentioned previously serves as a board member. 

- Hikmet Bilim Dostluk ve Yardımlasma Dernegi (HIKMET) 

The organization was established in 2003 and it formally belongs to the aforementioned Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE). The President is Jemal Kerim, a Turkish citizen of Palestinian descent who is also an owner of a transport company and he is also a leading member of the MUSIAD. 

-Turkiye Gonullu Tesekkulleri Vakfı (TGTV)

It was established in 1994 and it coordinates its actions with all the above organizations

-Union of NGOs of the Islamic World (UNIW)

It was created in 2005 as an "Umbrella NGO" in order to coordinate the activities of Islamic groups in 53 countries worldwide. 

In the Balkans it maintains cooperation on a regular basis with the following NGO's and entities:

Albania: Ardhmeria - Future Culture Association, ALSAR - Alternative of Future Foundation

Kosovo: Spike of Kindness, AKEA Association for Culture, Education and Learning

Montenegro: Center for Cross Cultural Understanding (Horizonti)

FYROM: Cultural Humanitarian Organization Marhamat (CHOM), Vizioni Educational and Cultural Association, Ensar Cultural Humanitarian Organization

Serbia: Dituria Cultural and Humanitarian Association

Bosnia: Bosniak Radio TV, Nahla Centre for Education and Research

Filistin Dayanısma Dernegi (FIDDER) 

This organization is linked with Hamas and is coordinated by Tahsin Misirli who is also a member of the board of the TGTV and president of the company Turkpal.