By now there is no doubt where Turkey’s Prime Minister Sunni ideology is resting…
EGYPT – President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s insistent criticism of Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was elected president after ousting a democratically elected president via a military coup, may well come with a price tag for Turkey on various fronts ranging from the economy to diplomacy, according to concerned analysts.
“There will be a price for this [attitude of Erdoğan]. Turkey should not expect to get the support of Egypt at the election for the UN Security Council,” Faruk Loğoğlu, a deputy of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), told Sunday’s Zaman.
Turkey is among the countries competing to get a seat as a temporary member in the UN Security Council for the two-year term of 2015-2016, and it is obvious Turkey will not enjoy Egypt’s support for its bid.
That means, as a most influential country in the Arab world, Egypt would no longer be willing either to throw its weight around in the Arab world for Turkey’s non-permanent membership bid.
Taking the podium at the UN General Assembly meeting shortly after Sisi last week, Erdoğan accused the UN of legitimizing Sisi — who, as then-chief of the armed forces, toppled a democratically elected president of Egypt last year — by giving Sisi a chance to speak at the UN.
“We should respect the choice of the people at the ballot box. If we want to support coups, then why does the United Nations exist?” Erdoğan asked.
Loğoğlu, a former ambassador, believes Erdoğan made a grave diplomatic mistake by publicly insulting the head of state of a country at the UN meeting in New York. “It is one thing to voice one’s opinion about the leader of a country [at home] in Ankara, and still another thing to do the same in an international setting.”
Erdoğan also said at the UN: “The United Nations as well as democratic countries have done nothing but watch events, such as the overthrow of the elected president in Egypt and the killings of thousands of innocent people who wanted to defend their choice. And the person who carried out this coup is being legitimized.”
“In foreign policy, there is no such thing,” Loğoğlu protested, fearing that Erdoğan’s attitude would deal a blow to Turkey’s interest in trade with and through Egypt and diplomacy.
As a political Islamist, Erdoğan felt deeply frustrated when Mohammed Morsi, who is a member of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood (MB), with which Erdoğan is ideologically aligned, was toppled by Sisi following widespread protests against the Morsi government.
On numerous occasions at home, Erdoğan, who was then-prime minster, has harshly criticized the Egyptian president, but his remarks and attitude before a top-level international audience in New York — which were almost beyond the boundaries of diplomatic reason — make one think he does not care as much as Turkey’s interests as he does for his ideological friends.
Erdoğan refused, ahead of the UN meeting last week, to attend a luncheon hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York, after learning that he was assigned to the same table as the Egyptian president.
The Turkish president boycotted the dinner, saying sitting at the same table as those who had carried out a coup would amount to legitimizing them, Turkish media reported last week.
“This kind of scorn and offensive rhetoric in foreign politics never bears positive results,” Nüzhet Kandemir, Turkey’s former ambassador to the US, told Sunday’s Zaman, noting that Turkey’s harsh rhetoric may have an adverse effect regarding Turkey’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council. (read more)