Turkey’s Leadership Watches Uneasily as Egypt’s Brotherhood Stumbles
As Egypt’s Islamist government totters amid mounting pressure from opposition protesters and the military, its allies in Ankara are watching with growing unease.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who weathered a month of nationwide protests against his own government in June, has invested heavily to forge a strong alliance with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, born from shared strategic interests and shared roots in political Islam. The collapse of the Islamist government in Cairo would mark the removal a key ally for Ankara and could further undermine Turkey’s bid to become a regional model for emerging Arab democracies.
On Wednesday, as the clock ticked on a military-imposed deadline for President Morsi to restore order, Turkish officials lined up to offer support to the embattled leader. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Ankara would stand by the Egyptian government and called on all parties to respect the law and the constitution. Europe Minister Egemen Bagis said that he hoped “no undesirable developments would take place,” in a thinly veiled reference to a military coup.
Analysts said that the prospect of the fall of Egypt’s democratically-elected Islamist government, could represent a serious blow to Turkey’s aspirations of regional leadership.
“The developments in Egypt are unfortunate, but along with the situation in Syria, it appears to mark the end of whatever dreams the Turkish government previously had of playing a leading role to a series of friendly Islamist governments in the region,” said Soli Ozel, professor of International Relations at Istanbul’s Kadir Hass University.
Turkey’s unease at the prospect of the collapse of the Egyptian government stems from practical investment as well as ideological kinship.
Read the full article here...