Turkey on Friday denied as “black propaganda” claims it asked Syria to offer the banned Muslim Brotherhood government posts in exchange for Turkey's support in ending rallies in Syria.
“Those allegations have nothing to do with the truth,” Selcuk Unal, the foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement.
The statement said “favoring any political, ideological, ethnic or sectarian group or making any one of them subjects to bargaining (in Syria) was out of question” for Turkey.
Unal said Turkey had repeatedly told Syria to start political reforms “to ensure a transition to parliamentary democracy.”
“Under this context we suggested them to allow all democratic entities on the political spectrum to be active in Syria and participate in the political transition process,” Unal said.
According to Syrian officials and western diplomats, Ankara’s purported offer to Damascus was rejected by President Bashar al-Assad.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been banned in Syria since the rise of the Baath Party to power in 1963.
They unsuccessfully tried to organize the population against Assad’s father and predecessor, Hafez, who brutally repressed a 1982 revolt in the city of Hama, leaving around 20,000 dead.
Law 49, issued in July 1980 and still in force, makes it a “criminal offence punishable by death to be affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Thousands of the organization’s members have languished in Syria’s prisons for decades, though some have been released.
On Aug. 9, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu delivered a written message to Assad from President Abdullah Gul, who belonged to organizations close to the Muslim Brotherhood before forming Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party.
“We hope that some measures will be taken in the coming days to end the bloodshed and open the way to a process for political reform,” Davutoglu said at Ankara airport upon his return from the one-day trip to Syria last month.
“In June, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered, if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ensured between a quarter and a third of ministers in his government were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, to make a commitment to use all his influence to end the rebellion,” a Western diplomat told AFP.
Turkey has expressed frustration with Assad and his iron-fisted regime for failing to listen to the people, whose almost daily demonstrations for democracy have been met with violent repression, at a cost of more than 2,600 lives according to the U.N.