Turkey says normalization with Egypt possible ‘only with return to proper democracy’
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç. AA PhotoTurkey’s bilateral ties with Egypt could “normalize if the country properly returns to democracy, if the Egyptian people’s free will is reflected in politics and social life,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç said.
“Only if the Egyptian authority follows an inclusive and egalitarian policy will the grounds be paved to examine our bilateral ties,” Bilgiç said, speaking at a press conference on Dec. 24.
Bilgiç stressed that Turkey’s policy was due to its principled stance as “democracy in Egypt has distorted from its path after the democratically elected government was toppled with a military coup.”
Turkey has no problem with the people of Egypt “with whom Turkish people have historical ties,” he noted.
Asked about the change in Qatar’s policy regarding relations with the government of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Bilgiç said he would not comment on the policies of a third country.
Qatar has recently announced its determination to thaw ties with Egypt, diverging from an agreement with Turkey over opposition to the Cairo government, only few days after renewing commitments to close relations with Ankara.
“The security of Egypt is important for the security of Qatar. … The two countries are linked by deep and fraternal ties,” a statement from the office of the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said Dec. 21.
The statement came a day after el-Sisi met in Cairo with a Qatari envoy, suggesting a possible thaw in relations between the two estranged countries.
Saudi Arabia is the broker to an end to the 18-month standoff over Doha’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood.
As strong supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in the region, Qatar and Turkey have long been on the same page in regard to regional issues, particularly on Egypt.
Asked if the Qatari attempt was an issue in the talks during al-Thani’s official visit to Ankara last week, Bilgiç said every issue, including Egypt, had been discussed during al-Thani’s visit, but he declined to comment if the Qatar-Egypt rapprochement was an issue in the discussions.