Possible Trajectories for Egyptian-Turkish Relations

EPC | 01 May 2015

Possible Trajectories for Egyptian-Turkish Relations

Shifts in the region point out that the ongoing tension between Egypt and Turkey does not serve the interests of both countries. In addition, this tension does not serve the interests of Arab Gulf States which have become an influential actor in the region, especially Saudi Arabia which seeks to cement its leadership of the axis against Iran since King Salman bin Abdel Aziz assumed office. This situation calls for reevaluation of the future of relations between Cairo and Ankara, especially, in light of recent reports about a Saudi initiative to mend fences between the two countries.

In this context, the paper discusses the crisis in the Egyptian-Turkish ties, both in terms of the continuing political tension between the two sides as a result of MB issue or the chilly economic ties or security concerns by Cairo regarding Ankara’s ties with some terrorist organizations.

In addition, the paper analyzes points of weakness and strength for Turkey and Egypt that affect their ability to manage this crisis, both in terms of the size of the popular support enjoyed by each country’s policies towards the other or the extent of regional pressure on each country. The paper also provides an assessment for opportunities and risks that may come out if the crisis continues both in terms of the regional role for each country or the economic interests of both.

The paper draws three possible scenarios for the future of Egyptian-Turkish ties which are affected by two main variables: regional pressure on both sides, especially Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States and domestic pressure on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey to backtrack on his policies.

Image Source: Reuters Pictures

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