Muslim Brotherhood confirms Turkey's request from TV channels to tone down criticism of Egypt's gov't

Ibrahim Mounir, a senior Muslim Brotherhood figure, has confirmed Turkey's request from Egyptian opposition TV channels operating in Turkey to tone down criticism of the Egyptian government.

Duvar English

A senior Muslim Brotherhood figure has confirmed that the channels belonging to the Egyptian opposition that are operating in Turkey were asked by Ankara to down criticism of the Egyptian government.

A previous Reuters report said that Turkey asked Egyptian opposition television channels operating on its territory to moderate criticism of Egypt's government, as Ankara seeks to improve strained ties with Cairo.

Ayman Nour, a liberal opposition figure and former Egyptian presidential candidate, told Reuters Turkish officials told him they wanted the TV stations to practice "objectivity and not to attack or criticize people."

Acting Muslim Brotherhood General Guide Ibrahim Mounir told Al Jazeera Mubasher that the TV channels won't be shut down, but that there needs to be a change in the political discourse and wording used regarding the Egyptian government.

"Ankara has the right to demand that," he said, as he also called on the Egyptian opposition to abide by the rules of the country that they're operating in. 

Turkey's foreign ministry did not comment on the reported request, which would mark a first concrete step by Ankara towards easing tensions with Cairo. Better relations between the two powers could help efforts to resolve conflict in Libya, and ease maritime disputes in the eastern Mediterranean.

Egypt's Information Minister Osama Heikal told Reuters he welcomed the move, calling it a "good initiative that creates an appropriate climate for discussing issues of dispute between the two sides." 

Nour's Al-Sharq television is one of three prominent Egyptian opposition channels in Istanbul, including Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist-leaning stations, whose programmes have irritated the Cairo government.

Ties have been strained since Egypt's army toppled a Muslim Brotherhood president close to Ankara after protests in 2013.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has its roots in Islamist politics, has not recognized Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Sisi, the former army chief, took power in 2013 and was later elected president.

Many Egyptian opposition figures, including the Muslim Brotherhood which is outlawed in Egypt, took refuge in Turkey.

Last week, Erdoğan said Turkey had resumed contact with Egypt and expressed hopes that the process would continue "much more strongly."