Egyptian citizens, in a recent survey, cited Turkey as the best Muslim country in the world. According to the findings of the survey, 1% of Egyptians also think that Pakistan is the best Muslim country in the world.
Turkey and Egypt do not always share the same world views. Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has often expressed his disorientation towards policies adopted by his Egyptian counterpart. Regardless of this, many in Egypt have said that they perceive Turkey to be the best Muslim country in the world.
The best Muslim country
A significant population also said that they ‘would go to war for Turkey.’
31.4 percent of the Egyptian population thinks that Turkey is the best Muslim country, while 10.4 percent think that Saudi Arabia is the best Muslim country. The number of people that think the UAE is the best Muslim country is 6.2 and for Qatar it is 1.6. One percent of the population perceives Pakistan to be the best Muslim country.
39.2 percent of the population perceives no Muslim country to be the ‘best.’ While 15.2 percent of the population said that they would take part in a war alongside Turkey.
A strained relationship
Following the anti-government protests in the middle of 2013, that led to the overthrow of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who was strongly backed by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), relations between the two countries have often been strained.
Signs of strained relations rose between the newly appointed interim government of Egypt and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government in Turkey, mainly due to Erdoğan’s pro-Muslim Brotherhood views, culminating with the August 2013 sit-in raids in Rabaa and Nahda by security forces, where sit-ins organized by the Muslim Brotherhood were dispersed, leading to clashes that resulted in 638 deaths, of which 43 were police officers.
The incident resulted in both countries recalling their respective ambassadors and was met with several verbal assaults by Erdoğan, who described the event as “anti-democratic” and referred to it as a “massacre,” while suggesting that Egypt’s leaders should be put under a “fair and transparent trial.”
Turkey blamed Israel for the ousting of Morsi
This was followed by a suspension of military exercises involving the two countries. Erdoğan also accused the Egyptian military of conspiring with Israel to topple Morsi’s government at an expanded meeting of the provincial chairs of his ruling AKP and claimed to possess “proof” for that: “This is what has been implemented in Egypt. Who is behind this? Israel. We have evidence”.
The claim was rejected by the Egyptian interim government, describing it as “baseless” and intended to “strike at the unity of Egyptians,” with presidential spokesperson Ahmed Muslimani saying that “agents of the West should not give lessons in patriotism”.
In response to Erdoğan’s statements, Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour announced on his Twitter account on 17 August that Egypt would to sign the international document recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
Egyptian people and rulers on different page
Despite the strained relationships between the two countries, the people of Egypt have expressed their inclination towards Turkey.
Following the 2016 Turkish coup d’état attempt, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave an interview with Al Jazeera explaining that “President al-Sisi has nothing to do with democracy, and that he’s killed thousands of his own people.”
The remarks were condemned by Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said that the Turkish president “keeps confusing matter and is losing the ability to make sound judgments” and that this reflects “the difficult circumstances the Turkish president has been through.
“He cannot differentiate between an evident revolution where more than 30 million Egyptians demanded the support of the Egyptian military and between military coups as we know them,” the statement explained.
In February 2019, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced it had implicitly recognized the Armenian Genocide, further deteriorating the relationship between Turkey and Egypt.
GVS News Desk