Egypt summons Turkish envoy over Erdogan slurs

Ayat Al-Tawy, Monday 21 Jul 2014

Foreign ministry summons Turkish charge d'affaires to protest PM Tayyip Erdogan's critical comments aimed at Egypt

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo:Reuters)

Egypt on Sunday summoned the Turkish charge d'affaires in protest at disparaging remarks Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan made about Egypt and its president.

Erdogan on Friday slammed Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as a "tyrant" whose administration is "illegitimate," and rebuked Cairo's endeavours to negotiate a ceasefire in Gaza between Israel and Islamist Hamas movement, which has snubbed the truce deal.

The foreign ministry said late on Saturday the summons was "to express rejection and resentment over comments the Turkish prime minister made about Egypt."

Ties between Ankara and Cairo have soured since last year's ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Erdogan has long supported.

The Turkish leader has repeatedly lashed out at Egypt's new rulers, often calling the army's ouster of Morsi a "military coup."

Late last year, Egypt expelled the Turkish ambassador to Cairo, accusing Ankara of backing organisations seeking to undermine the country's stability, in reference to the Brotherhood. Ankara reciprocated shortly after by declaring the Egyptian ambassador persona non grata.

Erdogan, a vocal supporter of Hamas, which Egypt regards a security threat, has increasingly spoken out against Israel since it began its deadly offensive in the Palestinian enclave almost two weeks ago.

In Saturday comments, he accused Israel of "barbarism that surpasses Hitler” and slammed the US – its closest ally – for supporting its tactics, and the Muslim world for failure to take a strong stance against the Gaza bloodshed.

Erdogan portrays an image of himself as a global, principled Muslim leader. He seeks to win a presidential vote slated early in August.


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