Can Erdoğan improve relations with Egypt? – Algemeiner

The interventionist and authoritarian policies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have left him without regional allies and his attempt at reconciling with Egypt is an act of desperation, analyst Hany Ghoraba wrote for the U.S.-based weekly magazine Algemeiner.

But Egypt is not enthusiastic about the olive branch extended by Ankara, the analyst said, noting that the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) neo-Ottoman ideology and the role Turkey has played in supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.

The two countries broke off relations after the 2013 overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi, the leader of the Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party. Erdoğan, who had forged close ties with Morsi, opposed the military takeover and has frequently denounced el-Sisi as a dictator.

Egyptian authorities regard Erdoğan’s government as a main proponent of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ghoraba said, an Islamist ideology and a terrorist group that is considered the main enemy of the North African country.

“Accordingly, improved relations with Erdogan are not high on Egypt’s agenda, and may not happen,” he said.

Relations between Turkey and Egypt further deteriorated after the countries backed rival sides in a conflict in Libya and agreed conflicting maritime deals with countries in the eastern Mediterranean.

“Under Erdogan, Turkey has become isolated, which became more apparent when Egypt launched the East Mediterranean Gas Forum EMGF in 2019,” Ghoraba said.

The EMGF regional energy forum, which aims to promote regional cooperation in the field of energy and allow for a sustainable gas market, unites the rivals of Turkey.

Turkey has also been targeted by the EU, Ghoraba said, underlining the bloc’s economic and political sanctions over unilateral gas exploration in waters that Cyprus and Greece already claim.