Egyptian opposition TV channel leaves Turkey as Ankara-Cairo ties warm

Egyptian opposition TV channel leaves Turkey as Ankara-Cairo ties warm
Mekameleen TV announced it would be leaving Turkey as normalisation efforts between Cairo and Ankara pick up pace
2 min read
30 April, 2022
Many opposition channels from the Middle East set up shop in Turkey in the wake of the Arab Spring [Getty]

Egyptian opposition satellite channel Mekameleen TV announced on Friday that it will move all its operations from Turkey, as normalisation efforts between Cairo and Ankara pick up pace. 

“In order to protect the channel’s ability to report freely, management has taken the decision to move its studios outside of Turkey,” read a statement from the television channel.

The channel will now operate from other countries, according to the statement - though it did not specify where.

“We take this chance to thank Turkey’s people and their leadership for the hospitality over many years, which goes to show our deep shared roots that transcend any current crisis,” the statement added. 

However, an anonymous diplomatic source told The New Arab's sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that as part of talks to restart diplomatic relations between the two countries, the Egyptian authorities had asked for all opposition outlets in Turkey to be shut down.

"Constant negative coverage of the situation in Egypt cannot be ignored," the Egyptian source said.

The source added that Cairo fears Ankara may use Turkey-based Egyptian opposition outlets to influence events in Egypt if bilateral relations were to sour again. 

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Turkey and Egypt withdrew their respective ambassadors in 2013, when relations between the two countries became strained after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi came to power in a military coup and launched a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, an organisation backed by Ankara.

Talks to restart relations began last year.

Mekameleen rose to prominence after publishing a series of high-profile leaks targeting leaders of the 2013 coup. It is widely regarded as a key platform for opponents of Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. 

Turkish authorities are yet to formally comment on the events, but Egyptian opposition outlets have previously said that Ankara had asked that their channels tone down criticism.

Egyptian channels Watan and El Sharq also operate from Turkey.