A recent visit by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to Egypt has sparked controversy after photos and videos of his tour with Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Cairo were released. The controversy revolves around photos of Egyptian presidents that appeared without a photo of former President Mohamed Morsi, who is supported by the government of Turkey.
During the tour, Shoukry and Cavusoglu inspected the Departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its museum. They stood in front of a large painting with portraits of the presidents of Egypt from 1952 to the present. Shoukry mentioned to Cavusoglu the names of these presidents, which included Mohamed Naguib, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat, Hosni Mubarak, Adly Mansour, and then the current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
However, the painting was devoid of the name of the isolated Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi, who was overthrown by a popular revolution in 2013. At that time, Turkey was supportive of Morsi and his group, rejecting the popular revolution. Shoukry’s mention of the other presidents without mentioning Morsi and the absence of his portrait from the painting sparked controversy in Egypt.
Cavusoglu’s visit to Egypt marks the first visit of a Turkish foreign minister to the country in 10 years after a complete break in relations. The visit was aimed at repairing relations between the two countries and finding ways to enhance cooperation in various fields.
As controversy continues to surround the visit, it remains to be seen what impact it will have on the future of Turkish-Egyptian relations.