20,000 Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members live on Turkish soil, many of them receiving stipends from Erdogan. Among the high-profile members sheltering in the country is Medhat Al Haddad, who the Egyptian government is accusing of heading the financial committee of the movement in Turkey. Brotherhood members freely conduct business and run television stations from Turkey.
In April 2014, David Cameron, who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the time, launched an investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood's activities in the UK and its alleged extremist activities. Egypt welcomed the decision. After Cameron's decision, the Muslim Brotherhood reportedly moved its headquarters from London to Austria attempting to avoid the investigation.
In April 2016 Islamists close to the Brotherhood held a major event in Istanbul that they called “Thank You, Turkey.” The three-day event was dedicated to extending the Brotherhood’s gratitude to Erdogan for hosting Islamist politicians and opposition leaders from different Arab countries. Keynote speakers described Erdogan as a “sultan,” and Turkey as the house of the “caliphate.” The acting supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ibrahim Mounir, was present. Khalid Meshaal, the former leader of Hamas, attended and said that “Turkey presented the best example of political Islam in democracy, governance, and economy.”
Turkey also hosts regular conferences of the Brotherhood, including one in April 2018 in which the group's 90th anniversary was celebrated with a gathering of Islamist leaders of different nationalities.
Muslim Brotherhood and Turkish mosques in Europe, North America even in the Middle East have become propaganda tools, where imams are trained to maintain a positive image of Turkey under Erdogan and attacking the Saudis and Egyptian governments, painting them as regressive, brutal and evil regimes. Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs, or Diyanet, has taken on an Islamist/Brotherhood identity in many places throughout Europe, but mainly in Germany where they have been accused of espionage.
Turkey has built a tightly meshed spy network in the EU. In every single country, a huge spy network consisting of associations, clubs, and mosques is being employed via the embassy, the religious attaché, and the local intelligence officer in order to spy on Erdogan critics around the clock. Authorities in several European countries publicly or privately speak of similar dynamics and have times detected plots to kidnap regime opponents on their soil.
it is increasingly clear that Turkish embassies, religious organizations, and businesses, acting in coordination with the comparatively broad network of entities linked to the Brotherhood, are pursuing interests and promoting views within Muslim communities that are on a collision course with those of European governments.