Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday that Turkey can only normalise relations with Egypt if the latter releases former president Mohamed Morsi and his allies from prison.
In an interview with a Saudi TV presenter, Erdoğan said that the current Egyptian government came into effect as a result of a military coup which overthrew a democratically-elected government. He added that what happened in Egypt contradicts the principles of democracy.
The Turkish president went further to say that the current regime in Egypt cannot be supported because it is not a result of Egyptians’ will. “The situation in Egypt should be rectified and democracy should be open to everyone.”
Erdoğan continued that Morsi won the majority of votes in the presidential elections; however, he and his government are now in prison and are facing several death sentences. Erdoğan said that Morsi-era figures who are unfairly detained should be released, and when relevant change happens, that’s when Turkey can normalise relations with Egypt again.
Erdoğan concluded by saying that bilateral relations with Egypt used to be strong, and the ties are still enhanced on the level of trade, but he said that his personal stance is unlikely to change with the “coup” government.
The Turkish prime minister said earlier in September that Turkey is ready to mend its relations with Egypt. The diplomatic relations between Egypt and Turkey have strained following the 30 June uprising, as Turkey said that what had happened was a military coup and opposed the current government in Egypt.
Turkey has taken significant steps over the past few months towards mending its relation with Egypt; however, this would appear unlikely to happen following the interview with Erdoğan.
On the other hand, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zaid said earlier in August that Egypt is ready to reconnect with Turkey if the latter acknowledged the 30 June uprising that led to the current government in Egypt. He also said that Turkey should refrain from intervening in Egypt’s internal affairs.