Egypt and Türkiye's Reconciliation Endeavours Navigate Regional Challenges Through Diplomatic Dialogues

Egypt and Türkiye's Reconciliation Endeavours Navigate Regional Challenges Through Diplomatic Dialogues
Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye Directorate of Communications on 14.02.2024 at


Mariana Mayor Lima

Middle East and Human Rights Researcher, 

Global Human Rights Defence.

On Wednesday, February 14th, 2024, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi welcomed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Cairo, a meeting that will be remembered as a turning point in the relations between the two countries. [1] This marks the first encounter between the leaders since 2012, and is therefore a crucial moment after years of diplomatic tensions. [2] Relations between Egypt and Türkiye became sour in 2013 when al-Sisi, the Defense Minister at this time, led the coup d’etat that ousted the democratically elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood movement and an ally of Türkiye. This event led to the severance of diplomatic relations between the two countries. [3] At the time, Erdoğan declared he would never engage with 'someone like Sisi,' whom he had labelled as a 'murderer, oppressor, and putschist,' and who assumed the presidency of the most populous nation in the region in 2014. [4] However, relations began to improve in 2021 when a Turkish delegation visited Egypt to explore the possibilities of normalisation. [5]

In November 2022, Erdoğan and Sisi shook hands in Qatar in a gesture described by the Egyptian presidency as a new beginning for bilateral relations. Since then, the two leaders have met on several occasions, including at the G20 summit. [6] Moreover, in July 2023, Cairo and Ankara appointed ambassadors to each other’s capitals for the first time in a decade, signalling an attempt to revive diplomatic relations. [7] Despite the long period of diplomatic stagnation, trade between the two countries has never ceased, with Türkiye ranking as Egypt’s fifth largest trading partner, according to data from the Egyptian Central Bank. [8]

At the beginning of February 2024, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan announced the finalisation of an agreement to supply armed drones to Egypt. [9] Despite occasional discord and differing stances on supporting rival governments in Libya, the two regional powers find common ground on critical issues such as conflicts in Sudan and Gaza. [10] According to Sameh Rashed, editor-in-chief of Al Siyaseh al-Dawliya magazine, speaking to The Arab Weekly,

[...]The reconciliation between Egypt and Turkey was preceded by long consultations and talks after both countries became convinced there are more areas of possible agreement than divergence, as was the case with Turkish-Gulf rapprochement, when both sides realise common interests are greater and challenges may be more similar than they initially imagine. [11]

Erdoğan emphasised that the main objective of his visit to Egypt is to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, reaffirming the commitment to cooperation and solidarity with “Egyptian brothers” to halt violence in the region. [12] He also vehemently criticised Israel’s actions during the conflict with Hamas, holding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responsible for occupation, destruction, and massacres. [13] Meanwhile, in agreement with the Turkish leader’s stance on the ongoing conflict, al-Sisi rebuked the obstacles imposed by Israel that hinder the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, which occurs despite Egypt controlling the Rafah crossing to the territory. [14]

During the visit, Erdoğan warned that it would be extremely imprudent if Israel proceeded with plans to attack Rafah, a southern city where more than half of Gaza’s population sought refuge during the fighting, emphasising that this could result in genocide. [15] The Turkish capital Ankara, recalled its ambassador to Israel in November and has maintained intermittent communication with Hamas leadership, who allegedly see Türkiye as a possible roletaker in ceasefire negotiations. Erdoğan also mentioned that he invited Sisi to visit Ankara as soon as possible. [16]

Sources and further readings:

[1] ‘Erdogan says Turkey ready to cooperate with Egypt on Gaza’ Reuters, 14 February 2024 <> Accessed 16 February, 2024.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] ‘From enemy to ‘brother’: Erdoğan’s reconciliation with Sisi causes a stir’ Turkish Minute, 15 February 2024 <> Accessed 19 February, 2024.

[5] News Wires, ‘Relations between Turkey and Egypt turn 'new leaf' as Erdogan visits Cairo’ France24, 14 February 2024 <> Accessed 16 February, 2024. 

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Central Bank of Egypt, ‘External Position of the Egyptian Economy’, 11 September 2023, <> Accessed 16 February, 2024.

[9] Supra note 1.

[10] Supra note 5.

[11]  ‘Egypt and Turkey turn ‘new leaf’ as they seek areas of convergence’ The Arab Weekly, 15 February 2024 <> Accessed 17 February, 2024.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.