Erdoğan slams EU countries accepting invitation of Egypt’s Sisi
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has condemned an EU summit with Arab League nations, calling the EU “insincere” and “hypocritical” for displaying amiable behavior in Egypt which had executed nine men a few days earlier.
“There was a summit in Egypt [on Feb. 25]. EU and Arab League members had gathered at the invitation of the putschist [Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-] Sisi. The EU is against death penalties and execution is prohibited in EU member countries. So how can one speak about democracy in these EU states, which accepted the invitation of Sisi, who executed nine young men last week?” Erdoğan said at an election rally in the Black Sea province of Giresun.
Erdoğan was referring to the execution of nine suspected Muslim Brotherhood members on Feb. 20 for the 2015 assassination of the country’s top prosecutor Hisham Barakat.
Erdoğan also stressed that this behavior of the EU “shows how insincere” the bloc is.
“Yesterday’s incident is an expression of their insincerity. No matter what they do, they will be remembered for these things,” he said, adding that the EU was “insincere” toward Turkey as well.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also slammed the EU on Feb. 26, saying that European leaders are “hypocrites” for attending the summit in Egypt.
“It is double standards and hypocrisy that all EU leaders went [to Egypt] and were with Sisi,” Çavuşoğlu told reporters in the capital Ankara.
“When we take a look at European leaders, they do not have values; they just have interests. We demand a Europe far from double standards,” he said, adding that issues like racism have “eroded” European values.
The first joint two-day EU-Arab League summit held in Egypt’s southern resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh on Feb. 24-25 saw strong attendance by European officials, with both sides declaring it a success in the face of Egypt’s execution of nine young men last week.
Amnesty International said the men were convicted on terrorism charges after “grossly unfair trials” marred by alleged torture.
The sentences were carried out despite calls by numerous international rights groups for a stay of execution.
Earlier this month, Egyptian authorities executed another six people in two separate cases for the murder of a judge’s son and a senior police officer.
Egypt has remained beset by violence and turmoil since the army deposed Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first freely elected president, in a 2013 coup.