CAIRO: Egypt expelled Turkey’s ambassador on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) and Ankara downgraded relations in tit-for-tat moves, further fraying ties that soured after the July ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.
The latest row between the two United States (US) allies came after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday renewed his criticism of the “coup” that ousted Morsi and Egypt’s continuing crackdown on his Islamist supporters.
Turkish officials initially expressed hope the differences could be resolved, but Erdogan appeared unbowed after the latest spat, saying: “I will never respect those who come to power after a coup.”
Cairo expelled Turkish ambassador Huseyin Avni Botsali, declared him persona non grata, downgraded ties to the level of charge d’affaires and elected not to send back its ambassador to Ankara.
The foreign ministry accused Turkey of “supporting . . . organizations seeking to create instability in the country,” a clear reference to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement.
It said Ankara was “trying to influence the international community against Egyptian interests.”
Turkey responded by declaring Egyptian envoy Abderahman Salah El-Din “persona non grata” and downgrading ties with Cairo “in line with the reciprocity principle that forms the basis of international relations.”