Speaking to Today's Zaman on Thursday, Atalay said Turkey is playing an active role in the reconstruction of the Middle East as it undergoes a wave of change from the Arab Spring revolutions.
Also on Thursday in Ankara, a security cooperation agreement was signed between the interior ministries of Turkey and Tunisia.
Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin expressed Turkey's readiness to give assistance to Tunisia's security forces in every field.
The agreement envisages cooperation in countering crimes such as terrorism, organized crime, illegal migration, human trafficking and illicit drug trafficking.
“We consider Tunisia a gateway for Turkey to the African continent and within the scope of our broadening interaction with Africa we want to develop cooperation with the country in every field,” Şahin noted.
Tunisian Interior Minister Ali Laareydh said more agreements between Turkey and Tunisia are on the agenda, and that Tunisia's aim is to boost cooperation with Turkey in its own restructuring efforts.
Tunisians ousted the 23-year dictatorship of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 and elected a government led by an Islamic party, Al-Nahda, that also includes secular parties in its coalition.
Recently, the country has seen a series of clashes between hard-line Islamist groups like Salafis and more secular elites.
“There are many provocative actions ongoing in Tunisia. In particular, there are elements trying to instigate political action by Salafis, from both inside and outside Tunisia. Some groups among Salafis acknowledge this and are concerned about that matter,” Atalay claimed.
Salafis demand that Islamic (Shariah) law be included in the new constitution, contrary to the aspirations of more secular groups in the country.
The latest clash flared up in Tunisia on Monday, during a protest of hard-liners against a TV channel regarding the continuing presence of people they deem holdovers from the old regime at the channel.
Two police officers were wounded during the clash, according to international media outlets.