OIC head rebuffs criticisms of Turkish officials
The chief of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu has rebuffed criticisms from senior Turkish government officials over his stance on Egypt’s crackdown. AA photoThe chief of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has rebuffed criticisms from senior Turkish government officials over his stance on Egypt’s crackdown, saying the organization does not only consist merely of the office of the secretary-general.
“What is happening in Egypt is savagery. Born and raised in Egypt, my feelings are beyond an average Turk toward Egypt,” Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu wrote on his Twitter account. “Yesterday the U.N. Security Council convened upon the request of France, United Kingdom and Australia. Our statement made a day after the incident is not [short of] the U.N.’s. Some of our citizens and friends seek statements beyond this statement,” he wrote.
Referring to the heavy crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters on Aug. 14, İhsanoğlu called on all parties to exercise restraint and to return to dialogue in order to forge national consensus and bring about social peace.
Senior Turkish government officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ, have taken aim at the İhsanoğlu, for the organization’s inaction over the Egyptian army’s heavy crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters, calling on him to resign for “dishonorable passivity.”
Responding to criticisms, he continued: “I need to wait for the consensus of states and mobilization of relevant mechanisms to make a statement unless there is a joint decision from the states. … Until now, no state has made an application for action. When we convene upon a request, we will not be incapable of making statements.”
The secretary-general said that what was happening in Egypt was disproportionate force and a violation of human rights. “I demanded the release of Mr. [Mohamed] Morsi a day after his ouster on July 3 and offered mediation but they chose the European Union … I’m astonished how they criticize and sentence us easily by not taking into account those statements and incidents,” İhsanoğlu wrote.
İhsanoğlu, a Turkish citizen, was elected as the secretary-general of the 57-member OIC in 2005 for a nine-year term after Turkish government exerted great effort for his election to the important international organization.