By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun
Turkish Foreign Ministry on Friday slammed the Saudi-led bloc’s decision to add the International Union of Muslim Scholars to a terror watch list.
In a statement issued Friday evening, the ministry said the decision was a "woeful" one that was taken on the basis of "baseless allegations".
"As the term chairman of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, we consider this decision as a serious mistake, which will serve an anti-Islamic environment," it said.
The ministry asked the bloc to reconsider its decision and "give necessary respect" to the International Union of Muslim Scholars.
The Saudi-led Arab bloc, which included Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain announced the step late Wednesday, saying it added two entities and 11 individuals to its terrorist watch list.
The additions include two Doha-based nongovernmental organizations: the International Islamic Council and the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) led by prominent Egyptian scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
The four countries said in a joint statement that the entities added to the list constituted “terrorist organizations working to promote terrorism through the exploitation of Islamic discourse, which they use as cover to carry out various terrorist activities”.
"The 11 individuals [added to the list] have carried out various terrorist operations for which they received direct Qatari support,” the statement -- carried by Saudi, Egyptian and Bahraini news agencies -- read.
In June, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Egypt and Bahrain abruptly cut diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups in the region.
Qatar, for its part, has denied the accusations, describing the attempts to isolate it as a breach of international law.