Egypt said Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lost the ability of "sound judgement" following remarks in which he criticised Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as being far from democratic.
"Among the issues which the Turkish president confuses the most is the ability to distinguish between a full-fledged popular revolution where over 30 million Egyptians went out demanding the armed forces' support, and military coups by definition," the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement early on Thursday.
Erdogan renewed his criticism of El-Sisi during a TV interview with Al-Jazeera network late on Wednesday. He said the Egyptian president "has nothing to do with democracy. He killed thousands of his own people.”
The Egyptian foreign ministry snapped back hours later saying the Turkish president "is continuing to confuse matters and lose the compass of sound judgement -- something that reflects through the tough times he is passing through."
The ministry was making an allusion to the abortive military coup in Turkey last week, which resulted in deaths of over 230 people and has since prompted a wide-ranging purge of state institutions.
Relations between Turkey and Egypt have been strained since the 2013 ouster of Egypt’s Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, a close ally of Erdogan's AKP government. Erdogan has repeatedly slammed Morsi's removal as an "unacceptable coup."
Cairo has repeatedly accused Ankara of "interference" in its domestic affairs and supporting Islamist militants who carry out terrorist attacks in Egypt.
Turkey provides a safe haven for leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood group, which has been banned in Egypt. Ankara also allows TV stations run by sympathisers of the Brotherhood who criticise the government of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to broadcast out of Turkey.