Turkey sends back envoy to Cairo despite chilly ties

Turkey sends back envoy to Cairo despite chilly ties

Turkey sends back envoy to Cairo despite chilly ties

Turkish Ambassador to Egypt Hüseyin Avni Botsalı greets reporters at Istanbul's Atatürk Airport before his return to Cairo on Sept. 4. DHA Photo

Turkey’s ambassador to Egypt, Hüseyin Avni Botsalı, returned to Cairo late Sep. 4, three weeks after he was recalled over the bloody crackdown on supporters of the country’s ousted Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi.

Asked if the decision was a sign of normalization with Egypt, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would only say the envoy was recalled for consultations.

“We did not close our embassy,” Erdoğan told reporters at an Ankara airport before leaving for St. Petersburg to attend a G-20 conference.

However, he warned that Ankara would review its stance “if conditions in Egypt changes in a different direction.”

Turkey recalled the ambassador after Egyptian police and military staged an Aug. 14 crackdown against supporters of Morsi, which sparked a storm of international condemnation from Ankara that strained relations between Turkey and Egypt.

Cairo, in retaliation, recalled its ambassador in Ankara for consultations.

However, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bedir Abdulbati said his country would not send its ambassador back to Turkey until Turkey “stops interfering” in his country’s internal affairs.

Botsalı may return to Cairo, but Egypt will wait for certain conditions before responding in kind, Abdulbati said, noting that Ankara must stop its “aggressive attitude and remarks against Egypt.”

In a televised interview on Sept. 3, Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, said they wanted to have good relations with Turkey but rejected anyone “interfering in Egypt’s domestic affairs.”

Egyptian leaders were not expecting a position from Turks and the Turkish government that reflects the views of a certain group or party, Mansour said, referring to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Asked if ties with Turkey would continue to be strained in the upcoming period, Mansour said Cairo was waiting to see how the Turkish government would act and that they “will take a position based on that.”