Turkey and Egypt's Great Game in the Middle East

The Regional Powerhouses Square Off

Egyptians chant slogans in Tahrir square as they arrive to celebrate former Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's victory in the presidential vote in Cairo, June 3, 2014. Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Courtesy Reuters

The chaos in the Middle East has tested many relationships, not least the one between Egypt and Turkey. Shortly after the fall of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, Turkey became one of Egypt’s chief regional supporters. When the new president, Mohammad Morsi, was himself pushed out of office in 2013, Turkey shifted course. With General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in power in Egypt, Turkey quickly became one of the country’s main adversaries in the Levant.

In August 2013, Turkey asked the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Sisi. The next year, Egypt openly lobbied against Turkish candidacy to obtain a seat at the UN Security Council. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also told Al Jazeera that his government “does not accept the [Sisi] regime that has undertaken a military coup.” He has also called Sisi an “illegitimate tyrant.”

Things between Egypt and Turkey have deteriorated still further in the wake of Egypt’s decision

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