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News Analysis: Removal of Egypt's Morsi may negatively affect Turkey

By Shi Zhuying (Xinhua)

18:51, July 04, 2013

ISTANBUL, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a crucial partner of Ankara in the region, would negatively affect Turkey's Middle East policies, local political analysts said Thursday, while the government has begun to evaluate the potential repercussions of the event.

Egyptian military removed Morsi on Wednesday after mass protests calling for his step-down, suspending the constitution temporarily and calling for new elections, which was denounced by embattled Morsi as a "complete military coup."

Egyptian judge Adli Mansour was sworn in Thursday as the interim president of the state as well as the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC).

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) spokesperson Huseyin Celik said Wednesday that the Egypt's military coup ousting democratically elected President Morsi is a sign of "backwardness" and the coup is supported by some Western countries.


"Morsi's step-down is a great loss for Turkey since Ankara has supported Morsi from the very beginning. It brings Ankara into a difficult situation and it also poses great uncertainties to the Turkish-Egyptian relations," said Gokhan Bacik, director of the Middle East Strategic Research Center at Turkey's Zirve University. "Right now there is a huge political gap between Ankara and Cairo created by the coup."

According to Bacik, Turkey-Egypt relations would suffer serious damage if Ankara does not recognize the new Egyptian government supported by the military. "There are negative developments for ties between Turkey and Egypt. If Ankara does not harmonize its relations with Egyptian military, we could not know what will happen next between the two countries," Bacik said.

"Turkey should know that it is a domestic issue for Egypt and any statement issued from Ankara should be balanced," Mensur Akgun, director of Global Political Trends Center at Istanbul Culture University, told Xinhua. He suggested that the Turkish government refrain from making emotional comments on the political change in Egypt.

However, some observers downplayed the influence of the transfer of power in Egypt on Turkey.

Ahmet Uysal, an international relations professor from Eskisehir Osmangazi University, told Xinhua that "Both the important regional powers, Turkey and Egypt need each other in economic cooperation and political alliance. The emergence of a new leadership in Egypt will not change the dynamics in the Turkish-Egyptian relations," Uysal said.


Morsi is regarded as a strong ally of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish government established close ties with Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. According to local analysts, Erdogan and Morsi used to share similar opinions in regional issues, including supporting the Palestinian cause and demanding the topple of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

As a sign of flourishing relations, Morsi even attended a AK Party congress in Ankara last September.

"Morsi's leave also influence the ongoing Syrian crisis since Morsi-led Egypt is an important member of anti-Assad block. Now Ankara has to wait and see how the Egyptian military will act toward the Syrian administration," Bacik pointed out.

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