The Egyptian General Tourist Guides Syndicate has called for suspending trips to Turkey as part of a boycott of Turkish tourism. This call comes following remarks by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan seen as insulting towards Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayyeb.
The syndicate said in a statement released on Wednesday that it would not deal with Turkish tourists if they come to Egypt until the Turkish government issues a formal apology.
“We reject the attitude of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan against Al-Azhar's sheikh because he is a symbol of the Egyptian state and its leaders. Insulting him represents an insult against the Egyptian state as a whole,” said Moataz al-Sayed, head of the syndicate.
Sayed called for boycotting Turkish products and avenues of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, as well as the tourism sector.
"History will curse [the] Al-Azhar Imam as it cursed religious intellectuals in Turkey before," Erdogan had been quoted as saying in reaction to Ahmed al-Tayyeb's support for what Erdogan regards as the "military coup" that overthrew Mohamed Morsy in Egypt.
Relations have deteriorated between Cairo and Ankara since the overthrow of former President Mohamed Morsy after the armed forces helped oust him in early July following mass popular protests.
Turkey has become one of the harshest critics of the ouster. The two countries withdrew their respective ambassadors following a war of words between officials in the media.
On Tuesday, the Federation of Egypt Chambers of Commerce announced in a statement the suspension of all official relations with the Turkish government until Erdogan offers a formal apology to the people of Egypt.