Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused any presidential level connections with Cairo on condition that the former President Mohamed Morsi and his allies are released from prison.
In Sunday interview with the Saudi presenter Jamal Khashoggi on Rotana Khaligia TV channel, which is owned by Saudis, Erdogan said that the current Egyptian government came as a result of a military coup which happened against legitimacy in Egypt. He added that the situation in Egypt should be rectified and democracy should be open to everyone.
He said that the normalisation of the bilateral relations between Turkey and Egypt depends on the release of the former President Mohamed Morsi and his supporters.
He pointed out that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi was the defence minister under the former President Mohamed Morsi ruling, criticising the military coup that was held against Morsi and describing it as unacceptable.
Erdogan also pointed out that the imprisoned former President Mohammed Morsi was elected by a majority of 52 per cent, and that some of his imprisoned allies are sentenced to death penalties. He added that there are strong historical bonds between Turkey and Egypt and that there have been no issues with Egyptians; confirming that turkey can normalise bilateral relations with Egypt, if Morsi and his supporters are released.
"The development of trade relations with Egypt would be a positive step for Turkey. However, negotiations with the Egyptian side are impossible with my personal participation from a moral point of view", The Turkish president said.
In response to accusations against the treatment with Fethullah Gulen-led movement compared to what happened with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Erdogan confirmed that the circumstances in Egypt are completely different from Turkey, describing that Sisi took over after a military coup happened and a non-realistic elections were conducted.