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POLITICS > Ankara in diplomacy to undo Egypt coup

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

Ankara is leaving no stone unturned in a global diplomacy campaign as it seeks a way to reinstall ousted Mohammed Morsi as Egyptian president

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Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi attend a symbolic funeral for the four men killed during clashes with police outside the Republican Guard headquarters a day earlier, in Cairo July 6, 2013. Egypt counted its dead on Saturday after Islamists enraged by the overthrow of Mursi took to the streets in an explosion of violence against what they denounced as a military coup. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi attend a symbolic funeral for the four men killed during clashes with police outside the Republican Guard headquarters a day earlier, in Cairo July 6, 2013. Egypt counted its dead on Saturday after Islamists enraged by the overthrow of Mursi took to the streets in an explosion of violence against what they denounced as a military coup. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Serkan Demirtaş Serkan Demirtaş serkan.demirtas@hdn.com.tr

Disappointed with the hesitant approach of its allies in the Western and Arab world in condemning the coup in Egypt, Turkey is continuing its efforts to push the international community to re-instate Mohammed Morsi as president of Egypt.

Led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Ankara’s diplomatic campaign includes the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and prominent Arab countries, such as Qatar.

“Our message is clear: Call this a coup,” a senior Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday. “Military coups are unacceptable, in Egypt or elsewhere. Undoing the coup and re-instating the toppled government should be the priorities of countries with a democratic understanding.”

For Turkey, establishing an interim government is meaningless and what should be done is to announce immediate elections with no restrictions on any political group, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

“Not underlining these points would be a very bad message to not only Egyptians but to those who are in search of democracy in other parts of the world,” a senior Foreign Ministry official told the Daily News yesterday.

Erdoğan called Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the U.N. late on July 6, following Davutoğlu’s intense phone diplomacy with his American and Qatari counterparts, John Kerry and Khalid al-Atiyya, respectively, as well as some other regional and European politicians over the weekend.

Turkey found itself alone in strongly condemning the Egyptian army’s ouster of Morsi as a coup d’état and calling on the Egyptian military to restore the democratically elected government with full power; its allies in the Arab world and in the West, however, either congratulated the army or preferred to use a milder language against the plotters.

Qatar, Saudi disappoint Turkey

Turkey’s deepest disappointment came from its prominent Arab allies, namely Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which were the frontrunners in congratulating the new transitional leadership and the army that conducted the coup.

“There is a serious disappointment with regard to their approach. We have made clear to them that this process in Egypt will be an important test for the Arab Spring. We hope they will revise their position and will adopt a similar line with ours,” the official said.

Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been in close cooperation in efforts to topple the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria since mid-2011, in the latest chain of the Arab Spring movement. It remains unclear how developments in Egypt will affect ongoing international efforts to push a defiant al-Assad to agree to a political transition.

Erdoğan urges UN

Ban had echoed prominent international powers in defining the ousting of Morsi as “a military intervention” and in not making a strongly worded statement against the army.

Diplomatic sources told the Daily News that Ban represented the world’s most important institution and that his tone in condemning the coup was consequently very important.

“The U.N.’s condemnation would influence countries to react in the right direction or to change their stances for the good sake of democracy. The U.N. secretary-general has an ethical and moral mission,” a source said.

According to the statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, Erdoğan expressed his concerns over the suspension of the democratic process as a result of coup in Egypt and underlined the importance of immediately establishing civilian rule through elections.

US can use its influence on Egypt’s army

Davutoğlu and Kerry have exchanged at least three phone conversations since July 3, the first one before and the last two after the coup. Although the language Washington would use in condemning the coup in Egypt is very important, for Ankara, its influence over the Egyptian army is very vital in both preventing the street demonstrations from producing bloodshed and in starting a normalization process in the country. The arbitrary detentions of opponents or opening fire on civilians could cause unwanted scenes in the country, Ankara said.

Although Turkey, the U.S. and other prominent countries agree on the need to hand power back to civilian rule immediately, questions on how it will take place is also crucial for the Turkish government.

“We know perfectly that the position we are taking is carefully watched in Egypt and elsewhere. This position is also very important in terms of Turkey’s image in Egypt as well as of Turkey-Egypt bilateral ties,” the official said.

Will Turkey establish ties with the new government?

Given that Turkey had established strong cooperation with the Morsi government, there are questions as to whether Ankara will continue its ties with Cairo under any new government established by the military junta.

Officials, however, say their biggest priority is avoiding any bloodbath in the country.

“In the heat of the moment, our priority is to take steps with regard to these undemocratically unfolding developments. The coup is at a crossroads. Both parties have millions of people on the streets. And it’s been only three days since the coup,” the official said.

Turkish Ambassador Hüseyin Avni Botsalı will remain in his post for some time although his mandate ended and June 30, with Ahmet Yıldız set to replace him.

“We notified him just before the coup that his mandate was being extended. He is a very experienced diplomat and has close ties with all political camps,” the official said.

July/08/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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Tarek Masud

7/13/2013 5:48:57 AM

American american gentleman lives in a big world under the fascist boots of the westerners and their allies. Westerners want secularism in countries like Egypt not democracy. Even if the majority rejects secularism, still the state must uphold secularism because our western friends and their allies who happen to be the minority, want it. Many westerners are trying to sell this game as 'true democracy'. Whoever opposes this kind of democracy should go to Egypt and get a bullet into his head.

David Storm

7/9/2013 1:31:40 AM

Erdogan should go to Egypt and see what he can do. While he is there maybe the people of Egypt can put a bullet in his head. Of course he wants Morsi back. Birds of a feather as they say.

american american

7/9/2013 12:42:29 AM

you live in a very small world nadiri. perhaps consisting of only one nation?

andrea dealmagro

7/8/2013 8:31:05 PM

I forgot that Kerry has phone in his yacht. By any standards, Egypt underwent a revolution; not a coup. I was born in the land of the coups and believe me, I can tell one when I see it: NO COUP GIVES 48 HOURS NOTICE. But of course it is a pill hard to swallow for all Islamist elected officials, and also for all politicians who are elected through lies and then don't live up to expectations everywhere. But e-coli happens, there is no job security for the demagogues either. :)

Murat

7/8/2013 8:29:32 PM

Humpty Dumpty is broken, all the King's men... let us remind ourselves that MB was very helpful in bring this coup upon themselves. When you abolish constitution and usurp all the powers of the courts, there is no more democracy to complain about.

Tekion Particle

7/8/2013 7:56:49 PM

AKP is so funny, aren't these the guys who broke every rule in the democratic list? Now they are also calling for avoidance of summery detentions. Turkish prisons are full of people summarily detained and locked up without trial and proof of guilt. Hypocrites tyrants, lets hope your demise is similar and you get served what you have been dishing out.

A European

7/8/2013 6:03:19 PM

So the Turkish media now concentrates on Egypt to try to take everyone's mind of Edrogan - the dictator closer to home. Nice try.

Brit in Turkey

7/8/2013 5:22:32 PM

It is very sad. Before long Turkey will be walking alone in the world.

Brit in Turkey

7/8/2013 5:18:52 PM

"Undoing the coup and re-instating the toppled government should be the priorities of countries with a democratic understanding." You won't find many of those in the Middle East.

Blue Dotterel

7/8/2013 5:06:14 PM

Perhaps, Erdoğan can explain why brutal dictatorships like Saudi Arabia and Qatar are allies of Turkey?
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