After Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan referred to the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi by General Abdel Fatah El-Sisi as an “unacceptable coup,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry responded by ordering the Turkish Ambassador in Cairo to leave the country because of what they called an “attempt to undermine the stability in the country.” Turkey in turn expelled the Egyptian Ambassador from Ankara.
Diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Egypt Photo Credit: Reuters
Egypt ordered the Turkish Ambassador in Cairo to leave the country and accused Ankara of supporting organizations that encourage instability within Egypt, hinting that Turkey provided assistance to ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
“Ankara is trying to influence public opinion in a form that is opposed to Egyptian interests and encourages organizations that attempt to undermine the stability in the country,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman stated in Cairo. Shortly after the dramatic announcement, Turkish President Abdullah Gul spoke about the incident. In an interview with a local television channel, Gul stated, “I hope that relations between the two countries will return back to normalcy.”
A number of hours after the Egyptian announcement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry in Ankara called the Egyptian Ambassador in for clarifications and afterwards, the Turks declared him “persona non grata” and demanded that he leave the country.
Last August, the two countries returned their ambassadors for consultations, after Egyptian security forces attacked an encampment of Morsi supporters and caused the death of hundreds of demonstrators. Turkey was the first country to harshly criticize Egypt following the ouster of Morsi’s regime by General Sisi and to call the move an “unacceptable military coup.” The ruling Islamist AKP party in Turkey had close relations with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Egyptian pro-democracy activists meanwhile reject the notion that Morsi’s overthrow was a military coup and anti-democratic, since the Egyptian military only intervened after Morsi violated every conceivable democratic principle and even then, only after the Tamarod Movement waged mass protests calling for his overthrow. They claim that the world was silent as Morsi’s regime committed atrocities against the Egyptian people and only opened their mouths once he was overthrown.
They emphasize that a democratic government has to guarantee minority rights and women’s rights, not encourage the persecution of Copts and female genital mutilation. It has to accept the opposition as legitimate and not take actions against media sources that are critical. It has to be willing to abide by democratic rules, even when they go against their interests. Most importantly of all, it also has to give up power if it is defeated at the polls. Egyptian pro-democracy activists noted that Morsi’s regime failed all of these basic parameters of democratic governance and for this reason; they reject Turkey’s support for ousted Egyptian President Morsi’s regime.