Turkish PM urges ‘so-called’ new rulers of Egypt to release Morsi
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks during the opening of a new metro line in Istanbul, July 7. AA photo
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has again slammed the military overthrow of elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, calling for his “immediate” release.
“Any attitude that can drag [Egypt] into confrontation should be avoided. We expect that all politicians, Morsi and the prime minister [Hisham Qandil] in the first instance, will be immediately released,” Erdoğan said today during the opening of a new metro line in Istanbul.
“Egypt’s so-called administration may make statements such as ‘Turkey is meddling in our internal affairs.’ But we are expressing that we stand with the Egyptian people and our principles,” he said.
Morsi was toppled July 3 when the army suspended the Constitution and appointed the head of the Constitutional Court as the interim president following four days of massive protests. The controversial, Muslim Brotherhood-backed president is currently being held in military custody in an undisclosed location.
‘We don’t side with the putschists’
Erdoğan also raised his rhetoric against the countries that have shied away from describing the takeover as a “coup.”
“The European Union has not yet made a statement condemning the coup. Where is your EU acquis? The United Nations hasn’t made a resolute statement. Some Muslim countries have not rebuked the coup with courage. Those who abandon the Egypt under Morsi’s administration by backing the putschists are punishing the people,” he said, adding that only Turkey and Qatar had supported the deposed president.
“May nobody deceive anybody. In Egypt, a coup has been staged. And a coup, whomever it targets, is bad and prejudicial. It murders democracy and the future. Those who don’t call a coup a coup are the supporters of a coup,” Erdoğan said.
“We are not siding with the putschists. We are siding with the result of the ballot,” he said, adding that Morsi had been targeted by “plots” from inside and outside since he was elected.
“Why can those who see Tahrir Square not see al-Adawiyah Square? Aren’t those Egyptian people, too?” he asked, referring to the squares were anti-Morsi protesters and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood have gathered in Cairo.
Erdoğan also criticized the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), accusing it of not condemning the coup strongly enough.