Since the Arab Spring of 2011, Turkey's foreign policy has been focused on Syria and on the ousting of its 'Alawite President Bashar Assad, who Turkey hoped would be replaced by a like-minded Sunni ruler from the Muslim Brotherhood.
Even as the first round of balloting in Egypt’s parliamentary elections takes place, public debate rages over the legality of religious [Islamic]-based political parties contesting these elections. Those parties—most prominent among which is the Salafi al-Nour—have been fiercely campaigning for seats in the upcoming parliament. This fired the debate, posing serious questions on why the Supreme Parties Committee (SPC) was allowing them to run despite the fact that the Constitution bans religious-based parties. The parties claim they are not Islamic-based in the first place; they have placed women and Copts on their election lists in compliance with the law which requires them to do so and contrary to the principles these parties have repeatedly endorsed. Yet mainstream Egyptians see through them and know they are Islamist at core.
With Russia in Syria, a geopolitical structure that lasted four decades is in shambles. The U.S. needs a new strategy and priorities.
There is a frenzied push for people to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections so that the turnout can be large enough to prevent the Salafis and Muslim Brotherhood from winning.
The upcoming vote is set to produce a throwback parliament that is largely beholden to the president's camp.
Coptic Solidarity 2015 Conference
The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 11-13, 2015.