Current atmosphere not ripe for restoring relations with Egypt: Turkish official
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc - REUTERS
By THE CAIRO POST

CAIRO: The “current undemocratic atmosphere” does not allow for normal relations between Turkey and Egypt,” Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said Saturday on Al-Jazeera.

He expressed solidarity with “Egyptians who demand freedom and democracy,” adding that former President Mohamed Morsi was supposed to leave power after elections and not a military decision.

The relations between Egypt and Turkey witnessed notable deterioration since the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi on July 3. Egyptian authorities expelled the Turkish Ambassador to Cairo in November in a protest against what they described as Turkish interference in Egyptian affairs.

Dr. Yas Aktai, chairperson of Turkish Center for Political Studies, said the relations between Egypt and Turkey took a different turn since the ascent of Islamist Justice and Development Party to power in Turkey in 2002. He added that Egypt’s former regime provided the Turkish regime with a strong ally allowing it to increase its influence in the Middle East.

He added during a conference conducted in his center on Thursday, “The Turkish government committed a big mistake when it abandoned its neutral approach that it adopted since taking power in 2002.” He added that the change witnessed in Turkish policies undermined the international influence the country had gained during recent years.

Political expert Bashir Abdel Fattah said in a press statement that Turkey supported the Muslim Brotherhood because it allowed it to perform a major role in the region, adding that now Turkey was moving to restore its alliance with Israel and Iran, in an attempt to restore the regional balance, after Morsi’s exclusion from power.

On the other hand, Turkish sources said the nature of relations with Egypt would depend on the approach that Egypt’s new president adopts. They added that Turkey would take positive steps, if the new government changes its approach.

According to Al-Quods newspaper, the sources said relations would strongly deteriorate if authorities in Egypt execute the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

They said the recent presidential election came to pave the way for turning a new page in relations between the two countries, despite the violations.

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