MHP urges gov’t to normalize relations with Egypt, Israel

MHP urges gov’t to normalize relations with Egypt, Israel

MHP urges gov’t to normalize relations with Egypt, Israel

MHP Deputy Chair Tuğrul Türkeş. AA Photo

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has said it favors the return of Turkey’s ambassadors to both Israel and Egypt, stressing that the government should follow national interests instead of a foreign policy centered upon the Muslim Brotherhood.

The MHP believes that Turkey’s position in NATO should be strengthened, Tuğrul Türkeş, a deputy chair of the party, said in a written statement released on Oct. 24.

According to the MHP, the government’s “ideologically-motivated foreign policy which is based on the brotherhood” is wrong.

“What matters is following a policy in line with Turkey’s national interests, universal human rights and democratic principles,” Türkeş said.

“Our party believes that the active defense of Gaza and Ramallah passes through the normalization of our relations with Israel and Egypt. Within this content, it believes that both our ambassador to Israel and our ambassador to Egypt should return to their missions although we have obvious disagreements [with the two countries],” he said, underlining the importance the MHP attaches to having “a long-term and realistic strategy” for governing the country.

Bilateral ties between Turkey and Egypt have been strained since July 2013, when Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi of the brotherhood was toppled. In November 2013, Ankara and Cairo dismissed each other’s ambassadors and downgraded their diplomatic relations.

As for the case concerning Israel, a normalization process aiming to end the four-year deadlock between the two countries, which began with the Israeli raid in May 2010 on the Mavi Marmara vessel, killing 10 Turks who were trying to break the blockade of Gaza, has been pending for months.

The MHP also made clear that it supports the government’s call to create a safe-zone on the condition of being formed outside of Turkey’s territories and under the auspices of either NATO or an international coalition currently battling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“[Our party] has the conviction that the government’s wrong steps in this field is serving as a means for our allies’ engagement in dialogue with illegitimate or illegal groups,” Türkeş said.

Recalling that it was an idea floated by the party’s leader against “the ISIL threat and for different reasons” since 2008, Türkeş said the MHP was proposing a safe-zone outside of Turkey.