The Turkish prime minister speaks during the the launching ceremony of an urban renovation project in Bursa, Aug. 17. Erdoğan saluted several times the crowd with the 'Rabaa' sign made by raising four fingers, which has become the symbol of the massacre in Egypt and at the Rabaa al-Adawiya Square where the supporters of the ousted President Mohamed Morsi have gathered for weeks. AA photo
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
has accused Egypt’s interim rulers of committing state terrorism and compared army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad as scores more were killed in a crackdown and hundreds were besieged in Cairo’s al-Fath Mosque by security forces.
“The Al-Fath Mosque is under siege. People’s place of worship is innocent. They have burned, destroyed our mosques in Syria and in Egypt. Either Bashar or Sisi, there is no difference between them. There is no salvation with oppression,” Erdoğan said during a defiant speech in the northwestern province of Bursa Aug. 17 where he attended the launching ceremony of an urban renovation project.
Erdoğan also slammed Egyptian officials for describing supporters of toppled President Mohamed Morsi as “terrorists.”
“People are saying ‘we ask for our vote to be honored.’ But there are those calling them terrorists. But I am saying that state terrorism is currently underway in Egypt,” Erdoğan said.
“There are currently two paths in Egypt: Those who follow the Pharaoh, and those who follow Moses,” he added.
Erdoğan condemned the attacks against worship places, including churches, but said that supporters of Muslim Brotherhood where mostly protecting those places from being vandalized.
He also argued that Turkey could be next for "those who were stirring unrest" in Egypt.
The tension between the countries peaked as Turkey recalled its ambassador in Cairo, sparking a reciprocal move by Egypt. Egypt’s Ankara
envoy, Abdurrahman Selahaddin, had urged Turkey not to side solely with the Muslim Brotherhood and respect “all Egyptians.”
However, Erdoğan refused to step back from his defiant rhetoric vis-à-vis the July 3 military takeover, accusing those who have financially helped the “coup regime” of being accomplices to its actions. He also assured that Ankara
was pursuing diplomatic efforts to increase pressure on the interim government that took power following the military coup.
“We had wanted the United Nations Security Council to speak with a fair and determined voice. The Organization of the Islamic Conference and the European Union
have no face left to look at in the mirror,” he said.
Erdoğan said Turkey and Qatar had been the only supporters of the Morsi government, while also thanking the Netherlands and Denmark
for their position during the current Egyptian turmoil.
Erdoğan saluted several times the crowd with the 'Rabaa' sign made by raising four fingers, which has become the symbol of the killings in Egypt and at the Rabaa al-Adawiya Square where the supporters of the ousted President Mohamed Morsi have gathered for weeks.Turkey should focus on not being hurt by earthquakes
Erdoğan also commemorated the 14th anniversary of the 1999 Marmara earthquake that left over 17,000 dead, emphasizing that Turkey had been severely damaged due to its inadequate preparation for earthquakes.
“We have heavily paid the price for unpreparedness, a lack of capabilities, a lack of coordination and ineptitude,” Erdoğan said, adding that Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) had been founded to help counter all these deficiencies.
“Now we have to start thinking about reducing the damage. The target would not be healing the wounds but doing the necessary for not being wounded in the first place,” he said, noting urban transformation projects such as the one being launched in Bursa.
He also announced that a total of 87,000 homes would be renewed in 46 provinces.