Turkey had asked Egypt's military-backed government to pave the way for Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to meet with deposed Egyptian leader, Mohammed Morsi, in return for Ankara building ties with the coup administration in Cairo but the offer was turned down.
Diplomatic sources speaking to Today's Zaman said Ankara would accept meeting with the military-backed government in the most populous Arab state, with whom Turkey has nearly broken all diplomatic ties since a military coup deposed Morsi in July 3, on the condition of being able to visit Morsi.
When Ankara sent the request to the Egyptian side, saying they are ready to meet with the Egyptian administration after meeting Morsi, the military-backed government said they welcomed a visit by Davutoglu to Egypt but cannot allow the Turkish foreign minister to have a meeting with Morsi.
According to the sources, Turkish Ambassador to Egypt Huseyin Avni Botsalı made the offer to the Egyptian side, making it seem as though it was his own idea to test the waters in the Egyptian capital.
"We would be glad to have Davutoglu visit. [Egypt] is your second home. However, it impossible to [arrange] a meeting with Morsi," Egyptian sources told Botsalı.
Morsi has been detained incommunicado while the Muslim Brotherhood was banned from operating by an Egyptian court last month. Egypt's authorities say Morsi is being investigated for charges including murder, stemming from a 2011 jailbreak when he escaped detention during protests against former president Hosni Mubarak.
Since the coup took place in July, Ankara has taken the side of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, and their demonstrations, arguing that what took place in Egypt was a coup, contrary to the other countries which refrained from calling it as such.
However, Turkey found itself alone in strongly condemning the ouster of Morsi and calling on the Egyptian military to restore the democratically elected government. Harsh condemnation of the military-backed government in Egypt strained ties and a tit-for-tat spat grew between Egypt and Turkey.