Turkey’s tactics to circumvent the Arab region on Symposium”Turkey… at the Crossroads”
The Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs held, on the 5th of November 2018, a symposium with the title of “Turkey… at the crossroads” which was attended by a distinct elite of Diplomats, Academics, and Researchers. This symposium was opened by Chairman of the Council, Ambassador/ Dr. Mounir Zahran. Speeches were given in this symposium by Ambassadors/ Dr. Ezzat Saad, Dr. Mohamed Badr-El-Deen, and Abdel Rahman Salah, as well as Professor/ Mohamed Kemal (Professor at the Faculty of Economics and political Science, Cairo University), on Turkey’s relations with the Major Powers and the Arab Region, as well as on its internal situations and bilateral relations with Egypt.
In general, the symposium addressed the Turkish steps to circumvent the Arab region and its techniques to regain the glories of the Ottoman Empire in controlling the region particularly through interference in the internal affairs of Arab Countries of which first and foremost are its interference in the Syrian crisis, its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, and its support for the State of Qatar that sponsors terrorism and Hamas Movement, in addition to seeking military presence in a number of Arab States, of which the most significant are Sudan and Libya.
The symposium was concluded with a number of recommendations, but within the context of two points of view that prevailed over the discussions:
– The First: This point of view adopts an open vision towards Turkey based on establishing a non-official and unannounced dialogue between Egyptian and Turkish Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) that are closely related to the official circles in both countries, as well as establishing a similar dialogue between the Egyptian and Turkish business communities. The dialogue may aim at settling down matters of disagreements and disputes between both countries.
– The Second: This point of view originates from the presence of an Egyptian-Turkish strategic contradiction as the Turkish side continues to show lack of responsiveness- not even partially- to the requisites of The Egyptian national security, particularly adopting a hostile approach to the Egyptian State and policies, attempting to play a leading role in the region through the forces of Political Islam, and supporting hostile interventional policies in a number of Arab countries. Therefore, Egypt must follow active policies as an attempt for the containment of Turkish trends, as well as adopting an external and internal political and media discourse stating that continuation of such policies by Turkey shall support tension, instability, and extremism in the region and the world. This point of view supports as well the enhancement of strategic partnership between Egypt and both Greece and Cyprus. The management of this file shall be made with great caution. Despite that, this point of view has no objection as to opening calm dialogue channels with Turkey at proper and calculated timings that shall be preceded by informing Turkey that its regional weight and economic interests shall be in a better condition in case it abandons its escalatical hostile policies towards Egypt with the emphasis on the necessity of avoidance of opening such channels in a context that would be perceived as if there was any Egyptian urgency to establish relations with Turkey.