Egypt and Turkey are forging an alliance that showcases two Islamist leaders maneuvering to reshape a Middle East gripped by political upheaval and passionate battles over how deeply the Koran should penetrate public life.

The relationship may foreshadow an emerging regional order in which the sway of the United States gradually fades against Islamist voices no longer contained by militaries and pro-Western autocrats.

Each country has a distinct vision of political Islam, but Turkey, which straddles Europe and Asia, and Egypt, the traditional heart of the Arab world, complement each other for now. Turkey’s strong economy may help rescue Egypt from financial crisis, while Cairo may further Ankara’s ambition to rise as a force among Islamic-backed governments.

What bonds and rivalries may ensue is unclear, but they are likely to affect what rises from the bloodshed in Syria, the influence of oil nations in the Persian Gulf, future policies toward Israel and the volatile divide between moderate and ultraconservative Islamists. The nations offer competing story lines playing out between the traditional and the contemporary.

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