'First step in Egypt is to include Morsi in politics,' Davutoğlu says, revealing intense diplomacy
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu speaks on July 4, in Istanbul, during a press conference before his meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. AFP photo
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu called on Egypt to let deposed President Mohamed Morsi participate in politics once again, while revealing the details of the intense diplomatic traffic prior to and after the Egyptian army's intervention.
"The first step that should be made in Egypt after the army toppled the elected president is to integrate him back into the political system as a legitimate political actor, along with the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party [FJP]," Ahmet Davutoğlu said today during an interview on public broadcaster TRT.
"The most important issue is legitimacy. A leader who received the most votes from the people has been wanted to be proclaimed illegitimate," Davutoğlu said, comparing the events with the Feb. 28, 1997 military intervention in Turkey, the so-called "post-modern" coup that led to the forced resignation of the Welfare Party government.
"It has similarities to the May 27  and Sept. 12  coups, but just like after Feb. 28, a party and a leader have been pushed out of the political arena," Davutoğlu said.
'Turkey would defend ElBaradei if he had been elected'
Davutoğlu also said the protesters massed in Tahrir Square to protest Morsi had been used for a "counter-revolution."
"The crowd that gathered in Tahrir Square with high expectations from the  revolution has been used for a coup. The internal and external actors who wanted the continuation of the [Hosni Mubarak] era paradigms have operated a counter-revolution," Davutoğlu said, adding that it also was intended to send a message to the whole region.
"It is a position that chooses the status quo for the sake of stability, which wants a 'refined' democracy without some 'dangerous elements,'" Davutoğlu said.
Davutoğlu also said Turkey was not defending Morsi on the grounds that he was affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and political Islam. He said Ankara would have adopted the same position if a key opposition leader such as Mohamad ElBaradei had been the one "elected and facing injustice."
Eight-point plan readied before Morsi's ouster
The Turkish foreign minister also revealed that an eight-point plan had been prepared along with Western countries, regional actors and the Egyptian Presidential Office as the army's 48-hour ultimatum was still running.
"When the army gave the 48-hour call, I contacted all the foreign ministers. We worked on a eight-point plan with Egypt's Presidential Office, the United States, Britain, France, Germany and regional actors. There was consensus on six of them," Davutoğlu said. He said he had held the phone calls while at the Singapore airport, where he had to trade his official plane for a commercial flight.
"I followed the situation from the captain cockpit on the plane. We had the reports about the coup while we were still on the plane. After we landed, we contacted the United States to discuss our next steps," he said.
Davutoğlu said Turkey had urged that no political arrests or "witch hunt" be conducted, media freedoms be guaranteed and work on a roadmap that everyone could agree with be launched.
Biggest mistake wasn't Morsi's
While acknowledging that Morsi had made mistakes, Davutoğlu said the worst damage to the democratization process was the Constitutional Court's decision to dissolve the Parliament, which, he explained, led Morsi to publish a decree that was publicly decried.
"The legislative power could not legislate. If it hadn't been dissolved, Morsi wouldn't have issued the decrees. Someone had to fill that vacancy and the only elected institution left was the president," Davutoğlu said.
Meanwhile, Anadolu Agency reported that Davutoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as well as his Qatari counterpart had engaged in intense phone diplomacy as clashes in Egypt between supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi and his opponents peaked late July 5.
Davutoğlu and his counterparts discussed the steps to be taken to calm the situation in Egypt, the report said.