Egyptian Foreign Ministry asks Turkey 'not to take sides': Ambassador

Egyptian Foreign Ministry asks Turkey 'not to take sides': Ambassador

CAIRO - Hürriyet
Egyptian Foreign Ministry asks Turkey not to take sides: Ambassador

The Turkish ambassador to Cairo, Hüseyin Avni Botsalı, was summoned today to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry. AA photo

Egyptian officials have asked Ankara "not to take sides" in the ongoing power vacuum after the military takeover in the country, the Turkish ambassador to Cairo has said after being summoned to the Foreign Ministry.

"[Foreign Ministry officials] expressed their wishes that the Turkish dignitaries make their statements without taking sides and in a way that embrace all Egyptians," Ambassador Hüseyin Avni Botsalı told Hürriyet today.

"In other words, they said that they expected Turkish dignitaries' benevolent, tolerant and sincere statements without taking sides in the problems between Egyptians," he added.

Turkey has been one of the most vocal countries in condemning the military takeover in Egypt since June 3. Both Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have asked for the release of the ousted President Mohamed Morsi, who is being held in custody in an undisclosed location, and have also harshly criticized the U.S. and Europe for not calling the takeover a "coup." 

Davutoğlu, who has been conducting phone diplomacy since the army issued an ultimatum against Morsi, told his Egyptian counterpart that Turkey expected "the country to return to democracy without losing time," according to sources.

Botsalı also referred to the detention of four Turkish journalists in Egypt, saying that they were in contact with the Information Ministry in Egypt. "Our journalists started working before completing the accreditation procedures. It is problematic in such sensitive periods if journalists work without having permission. But, as the embassy, we have given assurances to the Information Ministry," he said.

All four journalists were freed by the Egyptian authorities after remaining in custody for a few hours.