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Egyptian-Turkish relations through the prism of geopolitical confrontation
Material posted: Publication date: 29-11-2013

November 23, 2013, the Turkish Ambassador, hüseyin Avni Botsali in Egypt was declared persona non grata, and Egypt recalled its Ambassador from Ankara. In response, Turkey has taken similar steps. The decision of the Egyptian government due to repeated statements of Turkish Premier Recep Erdogan in support of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and the attempt at interference in the internal Affairs of the country.

Both politicians are members of the international Islamist organization "Muslim brotherhood", and after the removal from power last June 30, the relations between the two countries began to deteriorate[1]. The London newspaper "Al-Sharq Al-Awsat" reported about the meeting of the "Muslim brotherhood" in Istanbul, during which was discussed the further fate of the Islamist movement after the failures in Egypt and Syria[2].

 

The adherents of the rupture of relations with Turkey

The head of the parliamentary Commission for external Affairs of Egypt Mohammed Ibrahim shaker does not consider that the decision may have a negative impact on economic relations between the two countries and stressed that the decision was a response to Egypt's criticism of erdoğan to the revolution[3]. Egyptian "Al-Ahram" recalled the Turkish Prime Minister in the article "the Massacre of Armenians, Erdogan!" the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Empire in 1915, the Author calls on Turkey to recognize at the official level the fact of genocide, which was committed "by Erdogan's ancestors"[4].

Increased interest in the event showed an authoritative Saudi edition of "Al-Arabiya", the section of analytical articles "Opinion" which was almost completely made available to Egyptian analysts for critical articles in the address of the organization "Muslim Brothers"[5]. For its part, the magazine has published an article under the title "the First stage of tensions between Egypt and Turkey refers to 1961"[6].

According to intelligence sources, the Turkish intelligence agencies are supporting terrorism on the territory of the Sinai Peninsula, the Egyptian cites the opinion of political analysts of the London edition of "Elaph"[7]. The head of the coalition of political forces of Egypt "national salvation Front"[8] Nabil Zaki confirmed that the masses of Egyptians demanded the government to sever relations with Turkey due to the ongoing by the Turkish leadership critical attack on Egypt, "as if Egypt for Erdogan is an Ottoman Vilayet". Nabil Zaki does not believe that rupture of relations with Turkey will have a negative impact on the state of Egypt. Unlike Turkey, where Egypt tourists, Egypt has not benefited from relations with that country.

Although the decision was taken late, Cairo has shown the ability to make independent steps and confront the forces seeking to limit its role, according to rosiiskoi the Palestinian newspaper "Al-Manar". It is about the desire of Turkey to revive the Ottoman hegemony in the region and the attempts of Qatar to implement the American project management Arab world with the Egyptian "Muslim Brothers". Together with Israel, Turkey has sought to destroy Arab armies in Iraq, Egypt and Syria, writes "Al-Manar"[9]. The newspaper reminds about Turkey's support of the terrorist groups in Sinai, Sudan and Libya training camps which are located in Turkey, stated in the publication[10].

According to former assistant Minister of foreign Affairs of Egypt, Ambassador of Turkey, members of the organization "Muslim brotherhood", supervised network of agents in Egypt[11]. Turkey refuses to hand over the Interpol leaders of the "Muslim brotherhood", accused of provocation against Egypt, writes "Al-Manar"[12]. "Middle East Panorama" in the article "Erdogan: forward, forward!" calls Turkish Prime Minister "moral monster" because of its policy against Arabs[13].

 

The opinion of the opponents of the rupture of relations with Turkey

Official organ of the organization "Muslim Brothers" in Egypt warns that rupture of relations with Turkey can result in huge economic losses for the country[14]. The publication quotes the words of the Turkish foreign Ministry, which holds "the government, carried out the coup", the historical responsibility for this step[15].

According to the Jordanian edition of "Al-Dostour", which cited the canadian "Middle East Panorama", a large country such as Egypt, not easy to break off diplomatic, political and economic relations with key countries in the region, like Syria or Turkey. Everyone knows about the "stupid foreign policy" of Turkey, however, it plays a key role in the region, the newspaper writes. Information about the support of terrorism on the Sinai Peninsula of Turkey publication believes the rumors. Selected by the Egyptian government of course the concern of publication. Egypt should not burn bridges and to eliminate the possibility of dialogue[16].

The Qatari newspaper "Al-Arab" believes that the current Egyptian government is a threat to the security of the Gulf countries to a greater extent than the United States, Iran and Israel. Countries providing aid to Egypt must choose between the continuation of assistance to Egypt, draining their economic resources and not achieving geopolitical gains, or suspend assistance, having lost already attached. "The Egyptian leadership is sinking and pulling those who provide assistance," writes the author of the article[17].

 

The position of Turkey and the "Muslim brotherhood" in the region

The decision by the Egyptian authorities of Ministry of foreign Affairs commented as the last measure to which I had to resort after Turkey did not use the opportunity to change its policy against Egypt[18]. The Egyptian newspaper "Al-Shorouk" recalls that under President Nasser, the Turkish Ambassador was also returned from Egypt[19].

Regional isolation of Turkey because of its anti-Syrian policy and relation to Egyptian "Muslim brotherhood" was to be expected, writes the Palestinian newspaper "Al-Manar" in the article "Hysteria in Turkey due to "Pharaoh Sisi" and Saudi Arabia"[20]. Turkey's relations with the Gulf monarchies are also characterized as "going through the worst times"[21].

Despite the loss, Erdogan continues to cherish the dream of Ottoman hegemony, says "Middle East Panorama". The presence of al-Qaeda on the Turkish-Syrian border and stuffed with explosives cars in Turkey belonging to the terrorist group "Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant", can not but cause concern. However, Turkey keeps trying with the help of Western strategy to control the Sunni world, using the inability of "older Saudi rulers" to conduct a pragmatic policy. Will Turkish-Saudi battle for influence in the region, summarizes the "Middle East Panorama"[22].

About an open conflict between Saudi Arabia and the "Muslim brotherhood" after the overthrow of Morsi, in October this year, writes the Lebanese newspaper "al-Safir"[23]. The Palestinian newspaper "Al-Manar" writes about the upcoming split in the ranks of the Syrian "Muslim Brothers". The breakaway wing is to maintain good relations with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, which is the initiator of the schism[24]. The Saudi move had caused a reaction. The London newspaper "Al-Sharq Al-Awsat" published the statement of Minister of foreign Affairs of Turkey "Turkey is a supporter of stability in Bahrain"[25].

With some delay the U.S. depart from the policy of supporting "Muslim Brothers". There have been changes after the Russians gave Egypt a helping hand, offering a deal worth billions of dollars, while the US has denied Egypt, says Qatari newspaper "Al-Watan". The statements of the Minister of foreign Affairs USA John Kerry addressed to "Muslim Brothers", whom he accused of "stealing the revolution", would anger Morsi's supporters, according to the publication[26]. The words spoken by Kerry addressed the Islamists, reflect an underlying US policy towards the "Muslim brotherhood", aimed at temporary or full rupture of relations with the organization, says the canadian "Middle East Panorama"[27].

That scenario seems unlikely and is contradicted by the reports of "enormous" financial support and contacts between Islamists and members of the us Congress and the European governmental and social structures[28]. The reputable Egyptian newspaper "Al-Ahram" warned of impending against Egypt conspiracy involving the "fifth column" - a number of local media, politicians and foreign terrorist groups[29].

What caused the US to resort to such extremes, asks the Saudi newspaper "Al-Riyadh" in the article titled "For America is no more "Muslim Brothers". Probable cause is the Russian-Egyptian agreement. The publication believes that the United States does not oppose "Muslim Brothers", but accept the real situation, considering that "it is better to hold the whip in half than to completely put it down". The most important point is announced at the end of the article: "...can be considered as positive the fact that [there is] an Arab country, a policy which no longer define power..."[30].

The Syrian edition of "Dampress" believes that Erdogan is losing power, and as proof presents the steps of Egypt[31]. The publication believes that the victory of Syria will help to establish a new political organization that includes Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Egypt and Algeria. The consequence will be isolation with Syria warring countries who will soon have to face the "real Arab spring". The publication reiterates this idea, also pointing to Iran as one of the members of the new Alliance and calls on the opposition political forces Turkey to seize the present situation and return the rapprochement with the Arab countries[32].

It should be noted that statements of this kind in the Arab press began to accompany messages about the upcoming "Arab spring" in Algeria, where following the example of Syria should be will attempt to destroy the Algerian army. In this way Algeria will pay for supporting Syria and the presence of large reserves of natural gas. Reported statements by some of Abbas Madani, a member of the organization "Muslim brotherhood", located in Qatar - about the imminent deterioration of the situation in Algeria, Responsible for upcoming events he assigns to the government of Algeria. The perspective emphasizes the role of the French writer and philosopher Bernard Levi, an Algerian Jew, a technologist called "Arab revolutions". During televised meetings of Levi raises the question of "independent Algerian Berbers", which speaks in favor of the intention of a number of geopolitical centers of power to apply in the Algiers technology of destruction of States through the ethno-religious division [33]. The Algerian press recently reported about detention by the security forces the terrorists who planned the assassination of the Prime Minister of the country[34].

 

Conclusion

In previous works it was already suggested that as a result of the ongoing transformations in the region possible emergence of a new axis led by Saudi Arabia, which could lead to confrontation with Qatar – the sponsor of the "Muslim Brothers" and repeated attempts to "Muslim Brothers" to take revenge to regain influence on regional projects[35]. They also spoke about the main goal of the "Arab spring" - the destruction of the Arab armies[36] and the priority vectors of the foreign policy course of Turkey are strong ties with the Gulf monarchies and bilateral agreements with Saudi Arabia in the field of defence[37].

A brief analysis allows to speak about the following trends and threats in the region. Threats from "Muslim Brothers" will unfold in Bahrain, Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, as well as Algeria. Threats emanating from Saudi Arabia, will unfold on the Turkish-Syrian border, Arab and Islamic countries and countries where Muslims constitute a significant part of the population.

The objectives of geopolitical centers in the near future will be:

  • pressure on Saudi Arabia;
  • suppression and depletion of the Egyptian army;
  • the axis of destabilization of the Algeria-Egypt-Palestine-Lebanon-Syria-Iraq-Iran;
  • obstruction restoration of the regional role of Turkey;
  • the provocation of Saudi Arabia's hostility in the Arab and Islamic countries or countries where Muslims make up a significant portion of the population.

Said above allows to draw the following conclusions:

  • the most likely initiator of the break in Turkish-Egyptian diplomatic relations are Saudi Arabia and the United States;
  • The US still consider "Muslim brotherhood" as its regional allies, can destabilize the axis of the Algeria-Egypt-Syria-Lebanon-Palestine-Iraq-Iran and selected countries;
  • the worsening of relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, this doesn't mean the actors can't be members of a common regional project, implemented by the geopolitical centers of power, which through the support or pressure on this or that player have the opportunity to influence and balance of power in the middle East.

 

Armine Hakobyan, eXpert on the Middle East, orientalist-Arabist

[1]"Elaph", November 23, 2013, November 24, 2013 <http://www.elaph.com/Web/news/2013/11/850859.html?entry=Turkey>

[2] "Al-Sharq Al-Awsat", September 23, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.aawsat.com/details.asp?section=4&article=744326&issueno=12718#.UkAsVG_Wc50>

[3]"Al-Ahram", November 23, 2013 , November 24, 2013 <http://www.ahram.org.eg/News/1012/25/244158/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D9%88%D9%84%D9%89/%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1-%D8%AA%D8%B7%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%81%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%83%D9%8A-%D8%A8%D9%85%D8%BA%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D9%88%D8%AA%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%B9%D9%8A-%D8%B3%D9%81%D9%8A.aspx>

[4] "Al-Ahram", November 27, 2013, November 27, 2013 <http://www.ahram.org.eg/News/1016/11/244842/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B9%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%A9/%D9%85%D8%B0%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%AD-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D8%B1%D9%85%D9%86-%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D8%A3%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%88%D8%BA%D8%A7%D9%86.aspx>

[5]"Al-Arabiya", November 23, 2013, November 25, 2013 http://www.alarabiya.net/ar/arab-and-world/egypt/2013/11/23/%D8%AB%D9%80%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%88-%D8%A5%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-.html;

"Al-Arabiya", November 21, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.alarabiya.net/ar/arab-and-world/egypt/2013/11/21/%D9%84%D8%A7-%D9%8A%D8%B5%D9%84%D8%AD-%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1-%D8%B3%D9%88%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%8A%D8%B3%D9%89-.html> ; "Al-Arabiya", November 23, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.alarabiya.net/ar/arab-and-world/egypt/2013/11/21/%D9%85%D8%AA%D9%89-%D9%8A%D8%BA%D9%84%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%88%D8%B7%D9%86-%D8%B5%D9%81%D8%AD%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%9F.html> ; "Al-Arabiya", November 23, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.alarabiya.net/ar/arab-and-world/egypt/2013/11/21/%D8%B7%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%B9%D9%89-%D8%A3%D9%86-%D9%8A%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%AE%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%A5%D9%81%D8%B4%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%83%D9%88%D9%85%D8%A9-.html>

[6]"Al-Arabiya", November 23, 2013, November 25, 2013 < http://www.alarabiya.net/ar/arab-and-world/egypt/2013/11/23/%D8%A3%D9%88%D9%84%D9%89-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%B7%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%AA%D8%B1-%D8%A8%D9%8A%D9%86-%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1-%D9%88%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%83%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D8%AA%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%AF-%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%85-61.html>

[7] "Elaph", November 23, 2013, November 24, 2013 <http://www.elaph.com/Web/news/2013/11/850869.html?entry=Turkey>

[8] the Largest opposition Islamist political force in Egypt, the national salvation Front (FNS), which unites 35 parties in the country, which are public figures with well-known names, including former Secretary General of the Arab League AMR Musa and the leader of the opposition party "Dustour" (Constitutional) and former head of IAEA Mohammed al-Baradei.

[9]"Al-Manar", November 24, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.manar.com/page-12935-ar.html>

[10]"Al-Manar", November 24, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.manar.com/page-12915-ar.html>

[11]"Al-Manar", November 24, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.manar.com/page-12903-ar.html>

[12]"Al-Manar", November 24, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.manar.com/page-12904-ar.html>

[13]"Middle East Panorama", November 23, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.mepanorama.com/379410/%D8%A3%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF%D8%BA%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%8C-%D8%A5%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%8C-%D8%A5%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%85/>

[14]"Nafizat – ul - Misr", November 23, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.egyptwindow.net/news_Details.aspx?Kind=7&News_ID=37771>

[15]"Nafizat – ul - Misr", November 23, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.egyptwindow.net/news_Details.aspx?Kind=1&News_ID=37769>

[16]"Middle East Panorama", November 23, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.mepanorama.com/379590/%D9%85%D8%B5%D9%80%D8%B1->

[17]"Al-Arab", November 26, 2013, November 26, 2013, <http://www.alarab.qa/details.php?issueId=2178&artid=270907>

[18]"Al-Shorouk", November 23, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://shorouknews.com/news/view.aspx?cdate=23112013&id=535da775-4f30-4d4e-9f98-5ea63f79ad0e>

[19]"Al-Shorouk", November 23, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://shorouknews.com/news/view.aspx?cdate=23112013&id=8f6e7d2c-6bb6-4d47-9ec2-fbb9aef5dc28>

[20] "Al-Manar", November 24, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.manar.com/page-12935-ar.html>

[21]"Al-Manar", July 07, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.almanar.com.lb/adetails.php?fromval=2&cid=171&frid=31&seccatid=171&eid=549503>

[22]"Middle East Panorama", November 24, 2013, November 25, 2013 < http://www.mepanorama.com/379693/%D9%87%D9%84-%D9%8A%D9%86%D8%AA%D9%82%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B5%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%B9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AE%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%83%D9%8A-%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3/>

[23]"Al-Safir", October 05, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.assafir.com/Article.aspx?EditionID=2585&ChannelID=62483&ArticleID=592#.UlCQU9JFCi4>

[24] "Al-Manar", November 24, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.manar.com/page-12894-ar.html>

[25] "Al-Sharq Al-Awsat", November 25, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.aawsat.com/details.asp?section=4&article=751463&issueno=12781#.UpNUwdI9Ja4>

[26]"Al-Watan", November 23, 2013, November 25, 2013 < http://www.al-watan.com/viewnews.aspx?n=A1F84AB5-AAAD-498D-9B07-2811D2232F9D&d=20131123&writer=0>

[27]"Middle East Panorama", November 23, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.mepanorama.com/379214/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D9%81%D9%88%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%A8%D9%83%D8%B1-%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%B5%D9%88%D9%8A%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AA%D8%A3%D8%AE%D8%B1-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%8A-%D9%82%D8%A7/>

[28] "Al-Manar", August 25, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.manar.com/page-10341-ar.html> ; "Al-Manar", August 25, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.manar.com/page-11374-ar.html>

[29] "Al-Ahram", August 27, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.ahram.org.eg/News/924/25/228698/الأولى/مؤامرة-جديدة-لزعزعة-الاستقرار-بتورط-سياسيين-وصحفيي.aspx>

[30]"Al-Riyadh", November 24, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.alriyadh.com/2013/11/24/article886679.html>

[31]"Dampress", November 24, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.dampress.net/index.php?page=show_det&select_page=28&id=35321>

[32]"Dampress", November 23, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.dampress.net/index.php?page=show_det&select_page=64&id=35318>

[33] "Middle East Panorama", November 17, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.mepanorama.com/376489/لماذا-الجزائر-في-دائرة-الاستهداف-؟>

[34] "Al-Fadjr", November 23, 2013, November 25, 2013 <http://www.al-fadjr.com/ar/national/260387.html>

[35]"the Political situation in Egypt and its impact on the situation in the region", "Center for strategic assessments and forecasts", July 23, 2013, November 25, 2013, <http://www.csef.ru/index.php/ru/politica-i-geopolitica/project/477-the-great-arab-revolution/1-stati/4576-vnutripoliticheskaya-situatsiya-v-egipte-i-ee-vliyanie-na-obstanovku-v-regione>

[36] "the Military-political situation in the middle East in the estimation of regional mass media", "Center for strategic assessments and forecasts", November 08, 2013, November 25, 2013, <http://www.csef.ru/files/csef/monitorings/1599/1599.pdf>

[37]"the Failure of geopolitical project "Sunni-Shiite strife", "Center for strategic assessments and forecasts", June 26, 2013, November 25, 2013, <http://www.csef.ru/index.php/ru/politica-i-geopolitica/project/477-the-great-arab-revolution/1-stati/4498-sunnitsko-shiitskoe-protivostoyanie-na-blizhnem-vostoke-geopoliticheskij-proekt-mirovoj-elity>


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