Although strong religious, cultural, and historical ties bind both Turkey and Egypt together, political relations between the two states have seen a steady decline since the coup d’état of President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Egypt and Turkey are the two largest Muslim-majority countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, with both seeing themselves as regional powers and leaders of Sunni Islam, so what is continuing to influence the weakening of relations between the two states?
One major factor in the breakdown of relations between Egypt and Turkey is the fact that Egypt is trying to crush the Muslim Brotherhood, a political organisation, which has gained increasing support throughout the Arab world. The Muslim Brotherhood was the first democratically elected political party in Egypt. Despite this, its leader,Ex-President Mohamed Morsi, is now being sentenced to death by Egypt President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s, while the majority of his followers are being persecuted and blamed for causing chaos, violence and corruption in Egypt.
However, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose political career has been to expand the role of Islam in Turkey’s political system, criticized the military coup against Mr Morsi and supports the Muslim Brotherhood and the democratic element that it adds to Egypt’s politics. Turkey has been described as a nation that is trying to protect the Muslim Brotherhood and has shown evidence of this in it’s support to over 4,000 Egyptians who have fled to Turkey in order to escape dreaded legal action in Egypt because of their association with the organisation.
Turkey’s relations in both the West and the Middle Easthave also taken a toll on the relations between the two states. For a long time, Washington has been urging Turkey to take more action in its dealings with the Islamic State. Since discussions with Washington and escalated violence from Syria towards Turkey, Turkey launched its first attacks against the Islamic state in Syria during July 2015. Since the attacks, however, Egypt has been led to believe that Turkey are in fact helping to worsen the war, causing more distrust in their relations.