Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his country has warned against making anti-Egypt statements, in the first official statement on measures taken by Ankara regarding Muslim Brotherhood leaders and institutions following the start of a process to normalize relations with Cairo.
Cavusoglu acknowledged publicly for the first time that his country had issued decisive warnings to some critics to the Egyptian authorities, especially those who have made radical speeches and statements against Cairo.
“I see some comments here and there on this subject, and rumors claiming that Turkey was selling the Egyptian opposition… There are some opponents to whom we addressed the necessary warnings, especially those who exaggerate the extremist rhetoric against Egypt,” the Turkish foreign minister said in a television interview on Tuesday evening regarding restrictions imposed on the Brotherhood’s TV channels that broadcast from Istanbul.
Ankara last month asked Egyptian opposition TV channels operating in Turkey to restrain their criticism of Egypt.
However, Cavusoglu said his country remained opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood being declared “terrorists” by Egypt, stressing that Turkey viewed it as a political movement.
The minister revealed ongoing steps to normalize relations with Egypt, saying a meeting would be held at the level of the foreign ministers’ deputies in the first week of May in Cairo, following which he will meet with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, to discuss the appointment of ambassadors and means to further upgrade ties in the future.
Asked about the change in Turkey’s foreign policy, the minister said: “The world is changing at a rapid pace, so is foreign policy.... We must be entrepreneurs, and we must find solutions to disputes. Turkey should be the mediator. Our mediation successes are due to an honest and balanced approach.”