Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the Egyptian regime for supporting Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization (FETO), which was founded by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who has been accused of masterminding the failed coup attempt in Turkey last July.
During an interview with Qatari channel Al-Jazeera, Erdogan accused the Egyptian regime of providing support to FETO, which is led by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen.
The Turkish president said, “We differentiate between the Egyptian people and the administration there. We love the nation like it was ours and that’s why we have provided all support to them but we are against coup governments and the violation of freedoms, and we will stand with the Egyptian people in their fight for democracy.”
In response, Egypt condemned in an official statement released by the Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman what it described as “irresponsible” statements made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the Egyptian government.
The foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said Egypt considered the Turkish statements as a “continuation to the blundering and double standards approach that the Turkish policies have been characterized by throughout the past years, “as reported by al-Ahram, Egypt’s state-owned newspaper.
Abu Zeid also expressed his “surprise” at the Turkish president inaugurating himself as a “guardian of democracy and protector of freedoms at a time when his government is arresting hundreds of professors and media personnel and tens of parliamentary members, as well as shutting down tens of newspapers and eliminating thousands of civil workers and army officers and judges from their jobs over their role in the coup attempt.”
In addition, Egyptian spokesman attacked Al-Jazeera channel as he pointed out that it wasn’t surprising that such statements came at such a time on Al-Jazeera in particular, considering it clear incitement that aims to shake off stability in Egypt; pointing at the “11/11” protests against the Egyptian government planned for today ‘Friday’.
This is considered one of the latest rounds of tension between the two countries, whose relations have witnessed a dramatical deterioration after Egypt’s military coup in 2013, led by General Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi against Mohamed Morsi, the first democratically elected president.
In response, Turkey did not recognize al-Sisi military regime and it also provided support for the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters.
Since then, the relations have soared between the two countries. However, the deep dispute re-emerged after Turkey’s failed coup attempt last July.
The Egyptian regime’s relation with FETO
From the early hours of Turkey’s coup attempt, some of Egypt’s pro-military media had jumped the gun in their reporting on the attempted coup in Turkey, declaring it a success and welcoming the overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
At least three newspapers ran headlines Saturday, July 16 declaring that Turkey’s army had overthrown Erdogan. But as their print edition was published, Turkey’s government had largely succeeded in quashing the attempted coup.
A red banner on the front page of the state’s flagship Al-Ahram, a state-owned newspaper, declared, “The Turkish army topples Erdogan.”
In addition, Fetullah Gulen appeared on al-Ghad al-Arabi Channel-in his first interview with an Arabian Egyptian Channel after the failed coup attempt last July. Al-Ghad Al-Arabi TV is owned by former Fatah leader Mohamed Dahlan (the exiled Palestinian and Emirati middleman). The channel headquarters were in London but they have recently moved to Egypt.
Also, Egypt started to provide a platform for Gulen’s media with the financial support of the UAE.
In this context, a meeting of a number of leaders in “Fethullah Gulen’s organization” who are located in African countries has been held in Cairo, according to the New Khlaeej, an investigative online newspaper.
The meeting discussed the repercussions of the failed coup attempt and how to face the latest Turkish action against the organization and its cells within the Turkish state institutions as well as its external arms.
Moreover, sources stated that Fethullah Gulen’s media arm, represented on the electronic website of Zaman-Arabic newspaper, is working from Cairo.
The Gulen-affiliated media outlet, including a team of Arab and Turkish journalists who administer the website of Zaman newspaper, related to Gulen, works in official headquarters based in Cairo with the acknowledgment of the Egyptian authorities, according to the source.
In addition, it is noteworthy to mention reports, that have not been stated by the Turkish newspapers on a wide scale, on a conference that was held in Cairo under the title of, “Restrictions on the Freedom of Expression and Human Rights Violations in Turkey”, under the auspices of Fethullah Gulen’s and PKK terrorist organizations.
There is also talk that Egypt would possibly be the new residence for the ‘parallel state’ organization (FETO) of Fetullah Gulen. Turkey’s Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdag said that there is intelligence information that Fethullah Gulen is seeking to escape to a number of countries, including Egypt, Canada, Mexico and South Africa, according to Rassd News Network. In response, Egypt said through its Prime Minister Sherif Ismail that “We have not received any request related to this issue, and if a request is presented, it will be studied.”
Fetullah Gulen lives in a self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, in the United States of America.