Turkey says no steps taken to normalize ties with Egypt
REUTERS photoTurkey has said it has not taken any official or unofficial steps to normalize its ties with Egypt, calling on the Egyptian government to examine its anti-democratic actions against political prisoners, days after a senior Turkish ruling party official claimed that a delegation composed of two ministers would go to Cairo for talks.
“No official or unofficial step has been taken on the normalization of the relationship between Turkey and Egypt at the moment,” government spokesman and Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş told reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting on July 11.
Kurtulmuş’s remarks came in response to a question over whether Turkey was planning to dispatch a governmental team to Egypt as stated by Şaban Dişli, a senior Justice and Development Party (AKP) official, last week.
“I want to repeat what we have been saying from the very beginning. The peoples of Turkey and Egypt are brothers. It’s out of the question for us to be an enemy of the people of Egypt and to keep ourselves apart from them,” Kurtulmuş said. “Why has the relationship between Turkey and Egypt arrived at this point?” asked Kurtulmuş, showing the military coup staged in 2013 to oust Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected leader, from power as the main reason for the deterioration of bilateral ties.
“The relations between Turkey and Egypt have been hurt because of this. The governments of the Republic of Turkey have suspended ties with Egypt because they are against military coups,” he added.
Life sentences issued against so many people, civilians and democratically-elected politicians, including Morsi, were unacceptable, Kurtulmuş said, adding, “Therefore, we of course want to normalize our relations with Egypt but it’s perhaps a must for the [military] coup regime that shelved democracy and chucked it out to examine its actions.”
The deputy prime minister reflected Turkey’s advice to the Egyptian leadership, as he said: “This kind of anti-democratic and oppressive implementation will not bring any benefit to the people and politics of Egypt. We wish the Egyptian government to review all of its actions, take steps to make progress [on these issues] and as a result of this, the normalization of the relationship between Turkey and Egypt.”
Ties between Turkey and Egypt were seriously damaged after the military coup staged by incumbent Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi toppled Morsi from power in July 2013.