Turkey Seeks “Axis of Democracy” with Egypt
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu envisioned an “axis of democracy” in the region by aligning with Egypt. He said “this will not be an axis against any other country — not Israel, not Iran, not any other country, but this will be an axis of democracy, real democracy.” The minister’s remarks came after he accompanied Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on a three-nation tour involving Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.
Writing in Foreign Affairs, Steven A. Cook discusses Erdoğan’s recent visits, arguing that his “Arab Spring” tour was meant to “distract from his missteps” in Libya and Syria. Cook posits that Erdoğan’s financial and political interests in Libya and Syria fueled his criticism of NATO’s involvement as well as his continued relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Cook asserts that Erdoğan’s criticism of Israel and support for the recognition of a Palestinian state have granted him immunity from criticism of his inconsistencies regarding Middle Eastern politics. Meanwhile, Erdoğan trumpets his Justice and Development Party (AKP) as the model for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, who have displayed relatively cold reactions to Erdogan’s attempts to offer himself, and Turkish secularism, as an example.