Egypt challenges Turkey over expanding influence in Africa

Cairo/Ankara: – President Recep Erdogan, who is showing the dreams of the Historic Ottoman empire to the Turkish population, is desperately trying to increase the Turkish influence. Turkey has started getting a foothold in African countries using financial aid, medical aid, military and technological cooperation, infrastructure, and soft power development. Egypt has initiated moves to stop this Turkish influence. It is being revealed that Egypt has started challenging Turkey with economic and military cooperation and taking initiatives to form a front with countries like Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  

A few days ago, Egypt assisted in training the G5 Sahel military front, active in the Sahel region of Africa. Following that, the peacekeeping force deployed in Mali is also being administered. At the beginning of this month, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met the special envoy of Ghana, a leading country from Africa, and held long discussions regarding increasing trade cooperation. The Egyptian parliament recently announced a decision to send a delegation to the African nation of Senegal.  

It is said that Turkish President Recep Erdogan harbours a hidden ambition to lead the Islamic world. He is making conscious efforts to increase his influence in the Islamic countries in Asia and Africa. These include financial assistance, military and technological cooperation, infrastructure development and attempts to imbibe the Turkish culture. A few months ago, the Turkish President announced an intention to trade with the countries in the African continent to USD 50 billion. Currently, the trade is in the range of USD 20 billion. Turkey has increased the number of its embassies in the African continent from 12 to 42.   

The increasing Turkish influence has not gone down well with Egypt, the leading country of the Arab world. Therefore, Egypt has started cooperating with the countries that are adversaries of Turkey to stop Turkish activities. These include countries like Israel, Greece and the UAE. Last year, Egypt had indicated forming a front with Israel and Sudan to counter the Turkish activities in Somalia. It has also been revealed that Egypt has taken assistance from France, UAE and Russia to bust the Turkish plots in countries like Senegal and Libya.  

There have been reports of increasing cooperation between Egypt and Greece since the last few months. Turkey has initiated aggressive moves in the Greek marine region in the Mediterranean Sea, and Greece has signed an agreement with Egypt to counter them. Since the last few years, Greece and Egypt are also holding joint war exercises. The Greek defence chief General Konstantinos Floros recently visited Egypt. He also issued a stern warning to Turkey during his visit.   

Meanwhile, the Egyptian agencies informed that Cairo’s Muslim Brotherhood network has been busted and a Turkish citizen Helmy Moamen Mustafa Bilji has been arrested, along with three others. The Egyptian agencies accused that Bilji and his accomplices were assigned the Turkish government’s task of preparing adverse reports regarding Egypt. 

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