While Turkey's government continues to condemn Egypt's military rule and the removal of Morsi, the country's businessmen are more worried about their investments in country. Eihab Boraie looks into the business backlash facing Erdogan.
Turkey and Egypt have a long history together and currently share a lot of the same problems despite a differing of opinions. In recent times, their strong relationship has been strained, especially following the removal of Morsi and the Brotherhood from Egypt’s leadership, though this could be considered a superficial change; with protests taking place in both countries, it should be a logical conclusion that leaders come and go, but business lives on.
It is this principle that has led many a Turkish businessman to start speaking out against their very own prime minister Erdogan and his strong condemnation of Egypt’s events since June 30th. Many investors enjoy very close relationships with members of the ruling AKP government and currently, they worry over the $2 billion they have already poured in Egypt. Although they prefer to remain unnamed, some businesses believe that “the prime minister will change. In the end, this is a global game. Turkey will act according to its own interests. What is important now is to transfer power to civilians in Egypt as soon as possible.”
Despite being against Egypt’s coup, Turkey can't turn their back on their investments. An Al-Monitor article quoted a businessman as saying “it is impossible to accept the coup, but the Morsi government also made important mistakes. Democracy is not only [about winning at the] ballot box. It is also important to appeal to the feelings and hopes of the people after winning at the ballot box.”
Financial ties between the two countries are too deep to be threatened by the morality of what is right and wrong when money is at stake. This principle is what has Turkish ambassador to Egypt, Hüseyin Avni Botsalı, reassuring the media yesterday that “relations between the people of Turkey and Egypt go back more than 1,000 years, and the Turkish people have always shared the happiness and sorrow of the Egyptian people,” signalling that relations will ultimately be “stronger than ever.”
While Egypt is currently struggling to find some twisted form of a military-controlled democracy that works, what is becoming clear is that, no matter who is in power and what they believe, business is king and money is every country’s true ruler.