Turkey shares close historical and cultural ties with Egypt which is a major country in the region. Its geographical location, historical and cultural wealth, role in the Arab world, population size and weight on the international arena among other factors make Egypt a significant country.
Turkey, since the outset, has actively supported democratization in Egypt. Turkey has provided political, financial and technical support to Egypt since the Tahrir Revolution that took place on 25 January 2011, with a view to contributing to its political and economic stability. Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey, was the first head of state who visited Egypt on 3 March 2011 in the aftermath of the Tahrir Revolution. Then, President Gül paid another visit to Egypt on 7-8 February 2013 and reiterated, on that occasion, Turkey’s messages of solidarity and cooperation with the friendly and brotherly Egyptian people.
In order to provide a strategic framework for the existing bilateral relations, Memorandum for a Framework for Turkish-Egyptian Strategic Dialogue was signed in Istanbul on November 3, 2007. The said Memorandum envisages to strengthen the bilateral political, economic and cultural cooperation between Turkey and Egypt.
The legal basis of Turkish-Egyptian relations has been strengthened through 41 legal documents which had been signed within the framework of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HSCC) that was established between Turkey and Egypt in 2011. The second meeting of the Council was held in November 2012. Moreover, a Free Trade Area Agreement has been in force between the two countries since 2007.
The military coup that took place on 3 July 2013 and led to the ousting of the first democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi has adversely affected the relationship between Turkey and Egypt.
Turkey advocates the view that Egypt’s long term stability and development can be achieved only by respecting people’s democratic will in this country. Nevertheless, the Egyptian Interim Administration has adopted a negative attitude and criticized Turkey’s principled and pro-democracy stance.
Turkey’s decision to downgrade the level of its diplomatic relations with Egypt was taken on 23 November 2013 in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.
Turkey’s recent perspective on the situation in Egypt takes the well-being of the brotherly Egyptian people into account.