Turkey Shifts Stance, Begins Arms Deliveries to Egypt

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.05 - 2024 10:47 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Turkey Shifts Stance.

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After more than a decade of strained relations, Turkey has agreed to a significant arms deal, signaling a thaw in its diplomatic ties with Egypt.

For ten years, mutual distrust and open enmity have characterized the relationship between Turkey and Egypt, largely due to the events following the 2013 coup led by Egyptian Commander-in-Chief Abdelfattah al-Sisi, which terminated the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood and declared al-Sisi the new ruler.

The coup, resulting in the deaths of many Brotherhood members, prompted a strong reaction from Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, then Prime Minister of Turkey, who openly supported the ousted President Mohammed Morsi. Erdoğan condemned al-Sisi as a murderer and a disgrace to Islam, labeling Egypt as "evil" while Egypt accused Turkey of providing a haven for Islamists.

Change of Course

Turkey is now officially changing its course on this matter. According to Reuters, Turkey will start supplying sought-after drones to Egypt, marking a move towards normalizing relations between the two nations.

"The normalization of our relations is crucial for Egypt to access certain technologies. We have an agreement to provide aerial vehicles and other technologies," stated Turkey's Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, confirming the commencement of arms deliveries to Egypt.

A Step Towards Reconciliation

This announcement represents a significant step towards reconciliation between two former adversaries. The initial steps towards this thaw were taken last summer when the countries restored diplomatic ties for the first time since 2013.

"This reflects the mutual desire to improve bilateral relations in the interest of the Turkish and Egyptian people," the countries declared in a statement reported by Al-Jazeera.

Economic Challenges

The shift in Turkey's stance is partly attributed to the country's dire economic situation, with inflation rates soaring to over 60 percent at times.

Widespread dissatisfaction with the economic conditions has placed immense pressure on the Turkish government to stabilize the economy. Engaging in new collaborations with Egypt is seen as a potential means to rectify the economic downturn.

Sought-After Drones

According to Hakan Fidan, Turkish leaders will also discuss bilateral and regional issues concerning trade, energy, and security with al-Sisi.

The Turkish drones set to be delivered have gained popularity in the international market following their successful deployment in Syria, Libya, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine, as reported by Reuters. This move not only signifies a warming of relations between Turkey and Egypt but also highlights Turkey's strategic reorientation in response to economic pressures and changing geopolitical dynamics.

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