Turkey condemns Egypt over Morsi life sentence
AP photoTurkey has condemned the life sentence issued to former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi just two days after Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said there could be “no permanent enmities between countries encircling the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.”
“We condemn and express our concerns over the life sentence issued for Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president who has been imprisoned since 2013. We are of the belief that this verdict will not contribute to Egypt’s comfort and stability,” the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement on June 19.
A court in Cairo handed another life sentence to Morsi on June 18 on charges of espionage and leaking state secrets. Morsi, leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, had already been sentenced in three other cases, including a death penalty sentence for a mass jail break during the 2011 uprising against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and a life sentence for spying on behalf of Palestinian group Hamas.
The Ankara-Cairo relationship was seriously hit by the military coup staged by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in July 2013, as Turkey strongly reacted to the ousting of Morsi with strongly-worded statements from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was prime minister at the time.
The ties have yet to normalize between the two countries, although the Turkish government has expressed its intention to mend the relationship with Egypt. “Israel, Syria, Russia, Egypt… There can’t be any permanent enmities between these countries encircling the Black Sea and the Mediterranean,” Yıldırım said on June 17. “Any attempt against the will of the people is a coup. We don’t accept it. This is our sincere view.
However this shouldn’t prevent commercial relations. Economic and social relations can develop. It’s for the good of both countries.”