Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has instructed Turkey’s ambassador to Cairo to return to Ankara following comments made by the Turkish Prime Minister, which the ministry sees as a reflection of his “unacceptable determination to defy the will of the Egyptian people.”
The ministry confirmed in an official statement on Saturday that it had summoned Turkish Ambassador Huseyin Avni Botsali to ask him to leave the country as a “persona non grata” (an unwelcome person).
The ministry statement made reference to remarks made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday ahead of his visit to Moscow. The statement stressed that Erdoğan’s comments are viewed by the ministry as “interference in the internal affairs of the country.” It also pointed out that the comments are based on “fabrications and falsifications of the facts and differ from the reality since the 30 June Revolution.”
The relationship between Egypt and Turkey strengthened under Mohamed Morsi’s presidency, but has been publically strained since his ouster in July. Both countries recalled their ambassadors in August for consultations, and Erdoğan has repeatedly criticised Egypt’s interim government and openly expressed his opposition to Morsi’s removal. He once claimed that Israel was responsible for Morsi’s ouster.
Ankara reinstated its ambassador to Egypt at the beginning of September, however the Egyptian ministry said that it was “yet to make a decision” as to whether or not to send its ambassador back to Turkey.
The ministry’s statement on Saturday said that Egypt had granted Turkey’s leadership the chance to “perhaps use logic” and to put the interests of the two countries ahead of “partisan interests and narrow minded ideology.”