As discussed in a previous post, Turkey's vocal criticism of the recent military takeover in Egypt -- much of it a reflection of the Turkish leadership's fear of they themselves being the target of a coup -- managed to create severe strains between Ankara and Cairo.
Although Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has toned down his criticism since the early weeks of the Egyptian coup, the new leadership in Cairo doesn't seem quite ready to give Ankara a pass. For evidence of that, look to Egypt's state-run media, which appears to be delighting in running items designed to needle Turkey. On Monday, for example, the website of Al-Ahram ran a juicy item reporting that Egyptian writers and actors, angered by Ankara's policies, are calling for a boycott of the crown jewel in Turkey's regional soft power arsenal: its exceedingly popular soap operas. From the article:
Considering the support the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government has shown for Morsi, calls for a boycott have been raised by a number of production companies and the Egyptian Cinema Syndicate.
According to television director and the head of the Egyptian Cinema Syndicate Mossad Fouda "Such an initiative was important. It received mass attention from different production companies; both private and governmental. Also, many satellite channels prevented the broadcasting of Turkish series as a protest to the Turkish intervention in Egyptian affairs and because of its negative stance towards the 30 June Revolution."
In the early days of the 2011 Tahrir revolution in Egypt, a then status quo-oriented Turkey was criticized by some for at first having little to say about the unfolding events in Cairo (it was only once it became fairly clear that Mubarak would fall that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan started vocally calling on the Egyptian leader to step down). Following the recent ouster by the Egyptian military of democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi, Turkey’s problem seems to be reversed: keeping Erdogan from saying too much about what’s happening in Egypt.
In the wake of the coup in Egypt, Erdogan was without a doubt the most outspoken international critic of the military’s action, issuing a steady stream of denunciations – not just of the Egyptian generals but also of the western countries that refrained from calling Morsi’s ouster a coup – and, at one point, referring to the deposed Egyptian leader as “my president in Egypt” and boasting of having refused to take a call from Mohammed ElBaradei, the liberal former diplomat appointed interim Vice President. Erdogan’s lambasting of the new regime in Egypt reached such a level that Cairo pointedly warned Ankara not to “interfere” in its internal affairs, while the Turkish PM felt obliged to publicly state that he is not “obsessed” with Morsi.