Egypt's foreign ministry rebuked Turkey's reactions to what it said were legal measures taken by the Egyptian authorities against Turkey's state news agency Anadolu office in Cairo, while criticising the Ankara's freedom records.
Egyptian police raided on Wednesday the office where Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu was illegally operating in Cairo, arresting four of its staff members including a Turkish national, according to a statement by Egypt's interior ministry.
Turkey's foreign ministry condemned the raid in a statement saying the action "reveals the negative approach of the Egyptian administration towards freedom of the press," while criticising Cairo's democracy records. The ministry summoned the Egyptian charge d'affaires in Ankara over the matter and demanded the immediate release of its detained staff.
The Egyptian ministry responded saying it "categorically rejects" the remarks against what it stressed were legal measures taken in dealing with "illegal Turkish electronic media committees in Egypt."
The committee worked under the cover of a company established by the banned Muslim Brotherhood group with the support of Turkey to "spread false and fabricated information about the political, economic, security and legal conditions in Egypt aiming to tarnish Egypt's image locally and internationally," the ministry added in a statement early on Thursday.
The statement asserted that all measures taken by the Egyptian authorities were carried out in accordance with laws and regulations applied in such cases.
It denounced the Turkish remarks saying they came from a regime "ranked one of the worst in violating freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of the press and other fundamental rights and freedoms."
It accused the Turkish regime of "funding extremist groups and terrorist militias in a number of countries in the region, seeking to control their fates."
Relationships between Cairo and Ankara have been strained since the 2013 ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi, who was backed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The rift between the two countries has been further worsened over maritime demarcation in the Eastern Mediterranean region and Turkey's plans to send troops to Libya.