Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has dismissed a recent congratulatory message sent by President Abdullah Gül to Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on being elected Egyptian president and said such messages are “meaningless.”
Citing the military coup d’état by the Egyptian army last year that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood’s former President Mohamed Morsi, Erdoğan blamed western countries of falling short of even calling the incident a coup.
“Western countries and the rest of the world could not call it coup, they had even sent congratulatory messages to the one who has come up after the coup and was elected in the so-called elections,” Erdoğan said on June 24, addressing EU ambassadors at a luncheon.
“Such congratulations have no meaning, because we can’t congratulate an administration resulting from a coup d’état,” Erdoğan said.
In the first half of June, by sending the congratulatory message to el-Sisi, Gül had taken the first step of official communications between the two countries since the former general – now president – ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, Morsi, last year.
In June, Gül was asked whether bilateral relations between Turkey and Egypt might enter a new era considering he recently congratulated el-Sisi, Gül said “We are on the two shores of the Mediterranean. We are almost like ‘the two parts of the same apple,’” Gül added, using a Turkish idiom that means being “two of a kind.”
As Erdoğan has been extremely vocal in denouncing the Egyptian coup, Cairo and Ankara had declared each other’s ambassadors persona non grata last fall and mutually reduced their level of representation, damaging long standing bilateral ties between two of the region’s most important countries.