Middle East policy shows Turkey’s new desire for allies

  • Galip Dalay

    Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

    زميل مشارك، برنامج الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا

Although there is no golden era in Turkish-Egyptian relations, the post-2013 period has been exceptionally bad. Turkey was the most vocal opponent of the Egyptian coup of 2013 which removed the country’s first democratically-elected Islamist president Mohammed Morsi from power, while Istanbul became one of the main destinations for the Egyptian opposition fleeing the post-coup crackdown.

Ankara’s relations with the Abdul Fattah al-Sisi regime and the ‘anti-Arab Spring’ camp which included Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) nosedived as a result, and have been largely acrimonious and icy since, with the Libyan conflict and the Eastern Mediterranean crisis further aggravating the situation.

But Turkey is now recalibrating its Middle East policy, with Ankara using more conciliatory language and, more importantly, taking steps to repair the ties with Egypt with a Turkish delegation headed by deputy foreign minister Sedat Onal visiting Cairo and foreign ministers of both countries expected to meet towards the end of May. 

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