CAIRO: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed Egyptian government over flooding tunnels along the Egypt-Gaza borders, ruling out “normalization with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s regime.”
In interview with Al-Jazeera channel, Erdoğan described Egyptian government’s operation of flooding tunnels along Gaza-Egypt borders as “dangerous matter” threatens lives of people in Gaza.
Concerning the deteriorating relations between Cairo and Ankara, Erdoğan said that he ruled out normalizing the relations with Sisi’s regime before the crackdown on former President Mohamed Morsi and his supporters ends.
Erdoğan added that that there are no differences between the nationals of the two countries, but the differences are between the Turkish and Egyptian regimes; “I have no rejection to low-level diplomatic relations … but I oppose normalizing the relations on the presidential level,” he continued.
The relations between both sides were strained after the July 2013 ouster of Morsi following mass protests calling for the end of his regime. Erdoğan had described the ouster of Morsi as a “coup:” In November, Egypt downgraded bilateral diplomatic relations when it announced that the Turkish ambassador Hussein Botsali was a persona non-grata. Turkey replied in the principle of reciprocity.
In the interview Erdoğan said that all charges against Morsi and his supporters are “fabricated”; Morsi and hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood have received death and life imprisonment sentences over charges of prison break and espionage with Hamas and Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
“As for death penalties, unfortunately, there are around more than 2,000 convicts face death penalties,” he continued, asking the international countries to not stand idle against these death penalties.
After the October 2014 attack that killed 30 Egyptian military personnel in Sinai, the Egyptian government has started creating 1kilometer-wide buffer zone on its borders with Gaza to prevent infiltration of “militants” who attack the military and security personnel.