Following it’s scope of its work for regional solidarity and cooperation, the Patriotic Party (Turkey) met with the President of Syria H.E. Bashar al-Assad in March and the Former President of Iran H.E. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran in April. As the most recent step, the party carried out a visit to Egypt on 19-22 of May.
Composition of the Delegation
The delegation headed by parliamentary candidate of the Patriotic Party in the upcoming elections, Ret. Rear Admiral Soner Polat, consisted of the former Minister for National Defence and Senior Advisor of the Chairman of the Patriotic Party Mr. Barlas Doğu, Deputy Chairman of the Patriotic Party Mr. Yunus Soner and Former Ambassador and member of the International Relations Bureau Mr. Hamit Osman Olcay. Mr. Onur Sinan Güzaltan, the permanent Representative of the Patriotic Party in Egypt, accompanied the delegation.
In the context of the Turkish-Egyptian relations that came to a breaking point within the frame of the pro-Ihvan approach of the Erdoğan-government, great importance was attached to the visit. The visit coincided with the death penalty given to Mohammed Moursi. While President Erdoğan announced in the election rallies that he does not recognize the Presidency of Abdulfettah Sisi, the Patriotic Party delegation stated in all meetings that the court decision constitutes an internal issue of Egypt.
The Patriotic Party (Turkey) delegation first made a presentation at the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (ECFA). The ECFA is known to be associated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While the former Ambassador of Egypt to Washington administered the meeting, several former Bureaucrats and foreign policy experts joined the meeting, including the former Ambassador of Egypt to Ankara.
Additionally, the Patriotic Party (Turkey) delegation carried out a meeting with al-Wafd, one of the leading political parties of Egypt. On behalf of the al-Wafd, Deputy Chairman Ahmet Ezzelarab participated in the meeting that was held in the Head Office of the Party.
Items on the Agenda
The Patriotic Party emphasized the importance of the friendship and solidarity between Turkey and Egypt. Mr. Polat, head of the delegation, stated that the foreign policy of his Party is based on the three pillars: 1) Regional solidarity and cooperation; 2) instead of sectarian, ethnic and ideological separation, collaboration on the basis of national interests and 3) the rejection of the intervention of non-regional powers to the Middle East.
Mr Polat, who is also the former Head of Intelligence of the Turkish Navy, referred to the summits for the Exclusive Economic Zone in Eastern Mediterranean.
Mr. Polat criticized Egypt, Greece and South Cyprus for carrying out summits on the Eastern Mediterranean excluding the other neighbouring countries. Emphasizing that the interests in the Eastern Mediterranean have to be determined by joint meetings of all countries, Polat pointed out that a division of the region at the end would serve Israel and the US.
Syria, facing an international terror assault was another item on the agenda. The Patriotic Party delegation underlined the importance of the national unity and territorial integrity of Syria and stated that President Bashar al-Assad is the guarantee of this unity.
In the context of the Turkish-Egyptian relations, with the Ambassadors having been withdrawn mutually, the Egyptian press showed a great interest to the visit of the Patriotic Party (Turkey). Several media organs, among them al-Ahram, al-Youm al-Seba, al-Masry al-Youm, published news articles about the visit. Head of the delegation, Soner Polat, participated in the TV program “Cairo 360” which is one of the most watched programs in Egypt and the Middle East.
You can follow some of the news in the Egyptian press in Arabic here:
The visit of the Patriotic Party to Cairo has been evaluated as a starting point for the Turkish-Egyptian relations that came to a chokepoint. Both sides agreed on continuing the mutual visits for reviving the relations.