Turkey slams Arab monarchs over Egypt

Turkey slams Arab monarchs over Egypt

Emine Kart ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey slams Arab monarchs over Egypt

Deputy PM Bozdağ keeps up his diatribes against the ills of the modern Middle East, accusing Arab monarchs for supporting the regional status quo. DHA Photo

In the second strongly-worded statement delivered in two consecutive days, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ pointed the finger at Egypt’s neighboring countries ruled by monarchs, claiming that these states supported the coup regime in order to better control Egypt, as “puppet administrations” were easier to control than democracies.

“There are a lot of monarchic administrations around Egypt. People living under those monarchies might say ‘Look how it went in Egypt, a great success has emerged. Here, why shouldn’t it happen for us?’ Therefore it is clear that there are monarchic structures disturbed by the change in Egypt around the axis of democracy, human rights and people’s will. One must be blind not to see it. It is that clear,” Bozdağ said yesterday.

“In democratic methods, the power is given by the people, but when you look at it, here those who give Sisi the power will always ask for its return. Therefore when you control Sisi, the uprising declares those against it as rioters, terrorists, it executes by shooting. Whatever you want happens without having your hands dirty,” he said.

Bozdağ’s comments came in response to questions at a press conference in Ankara, the theme of which was actually Turkey’s humanitarian assistance to Somalia. He elaborated on his conviction about the reason behind Muslim countries’ inaction vis-à-vis the bloodshed of civilians by Egypt’s security forces.

As was the case in his comments delivered in an interview with Kanal 24 on Aug. 18, Bozdağ’s criticism against the kingdoms in the Middle East region due to their support to the Egyptian army’s coup was paired with harsh comments toward the head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu.

As indicated by İhsanoğlu and reported by Cumhuriyet daily on Aug. 19, Turkey hasn’t so far attempted to operate relevant mechanisms for the holding of an extraordinary meeting on Egypt at the OIC although the governmental officials have repeatedly condemned the 57-member body for inaction. It is already known that Turkey is not willing to come up against probable objections by certain countries, particularly by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

OIC accused of “passivity”

Taking such facts into consideration, observers say that the source of Ankara’s fury is actually the hardheaded Gulf kingdoms. Nonetheless, stakes are obviously high and Turkish officials, at least for the time being; decline to pronounce the names of these countries openly.

“Yes, we haven’t yet taken any initiative for the OIC to have an extraordinary meeting on Egypt. However, we are continuing to assess the issue with its all aspects,” a senior Turkish official, speaking under customary condition of anonymity, told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday, refusing to deliver any further comment.

Even if Turkey eventually takes such an initiative, a simple majority vote is required for holding of the extraordinary meeting – an unlikely scenario given the clout of Saudi Arabia and the UAE who maintain crucial support for the Egyptian army.

İhsanoğlu’s term in office ends as of Dec. 31 and he will hand his post over to former Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Iyad Madani. Sources said İhsanoğlu has no intention to resign before his term ends as he believes that resignation would serve no purpose.

As of Aug. 18, Bozdağ called on İhsanoğlu to resign for “dishonorable passivity.”

Sources also said that the OIC chief has been in constant contact with the Turkish leadership, as he met with President Abdullah Gül around ten days ago and with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Aug. 15.

Meanwhile, İhsanoğlu, for his part, reiterated an earlier correction about an interview he held with Turkish daily Milliyet last month. He, once again, recalled in a message posted on his Twitter account yesterday, he had not said that he “warned Morsi beforehand.”

Earlier, on Aug. 18, also on his Twitter account, İhsanoğlu rebuffed criticisms from senior Turkish government officials, saying the organization did not 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’s toward Egypt,” İhsanoğlu wrote. “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.