Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Turkey would welcome senior figures from Egypt's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood after they were asked to leave Qatar under pressure from other Gulf Arab states, Turkish media quoted President Tayyip Erdogan as saying late on Monday.
A senior Brotherhood official based in London said on Saturday that Qatar had asked seven senior figures from the movement to leave the country after its neighbors pressed it to stop backing the Islamists.
Senior Brotherhood figures would be welcome to come to Turkey if they wished to do so, Turkish television stations quoted Erdogan as telling reporters on his plane back from an official visit to Qatar on Monday.
Turkey was also reported to be a possible destination for Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal who resides in Qatar and whose fate is being questioned in the wake of the expulsion of his Muslim Brotherhood allies.
Hamas denied on Monday that Mashaal might leave Qatar following the expulsion of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders from the emirate.
A report in a Tunisian newspaper claimed that the Doha-based Mashaal was considering relocating to Tunisia, Turkey or Malaysia.
Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan said Qatar has not asked Mashaal to leave. He added that relations between Hamas and Qatar were "passing through an extraordinary phase."
The spokesman said the report was intended to create tensions and confusion between the two sides.
Erdogan has been one of Hamas's greatest diplomatic supporters in the Middle East.Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.