Turkey should repair ties with Egypt: Deputy PM

Turkey should repair ties with Egypt: Deputy PM

Turkey should repair ties with Egypt: Deputy PM

Bülent Arınç (C) smiles during AKP's Ankara provincial Congress, Dec. 21. AA Photo

Turkey should mend fences with Egypt, as the rest of the world sees Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government as “normal,” Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said in an interview with Al Jazeera.

“We swiftly need to carry our relations with Egypt to a healthy ground,” he said, speaking in the interview released on Dec. 22. “Egypt may be the one who will need to take the first step for this, but we should encourage it,” he said.

Ties between Ankara and Cairo have been strained since former army chief el-Sisi toppled the elected President Mohamed Morsi, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, after mass protests against his rule.

So far, Turkey has remained with its uncompromising policy vis-à-vis the el-Sisi regime, which it labels the “coup makers in Cairo,” in contrast with the friendlier policies of other actors in the Middle East, including the Gulf countries.

However, Arınç suggested el-Sisi’s acceptance by the Western world is forcing Turkey to re-establish relations with his government, also referring to a shared “history, culture and belief” between Turkey and Egypt.

“Turkey still says it doesn’t accept an elected person’s ouster from the government through a coup as a principle. However, there is also an actual state and the whole world deems this actual state normal,” Arınç said.

He also said Turkey sees its relations with Gulf countries, which have severely chilled over the Cairo tension, as important, stressing Ankara also “needs to strengthen its historical friendship with the Gulf countries.”