Supporters o the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi hold up a Koran while making "Rabaa" gestures, in reference to the police clearing of Rabaa Adawiya protest camp on August 14, 2013.
Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

Amr Farrag is a prominent Muslim Brotherhood youth cadre. The 28-year-old Cairene is a widely followed exponent of the organization’s ideology on social media and manages the popular pro-Brotherhood news portal Rassd. But these days, he no longer operates in Cairo. On July 5, 2013—two days after the Egyptian military responded to mass protests by removing Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsi—the organization’s leaders urged Farrag to relocate to Istanbul, so that he could evade the Egyptian government’s anti-Brotherhood crackdown and reestablish the organization’s media operations in exile. Meanwhile, as many more Muslim Brothers fled to Turkey during the chaotic weeks that followed Morsi’s ouster, the Brotherhood formed a committee in Istanbul to resettle them, hoping to preserve the organization until it could return to power in Egypt, which it promised its members would happen very soon.

But as the months wore on, and Egypt’s repression

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  • ERIC TRAGER is the Esther K. Wagner Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
  • MARINA SHALABI is a research assistant at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
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