Turkish government furious against OIC chief, calls for resignation
Supporters of Egypt's deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood wave Turkish and Egyptian flags during a rally in protest against the recent violence in Egypt, outside of the Eminonu New mosque in Istanbul August 17, 2013. REUTERS photoSenior Turkish government officials have taken aim at the head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Turkey’s Ekmeleddin 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.”
“If I were the secretary-general of the OIC, I would invite all member countries to adopt a joint position against the coup in Egypt and to stand against these killings,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said in an interview with Kanal 24 on yesterday. “If member countries rejected that, then I would resign in reaction. If I were him, I wouldn’t stand as the head of an organization in the face of such a dishonorable move.”
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.
“Is there anybody who knows what İhsanoğlu is doing? This person had accused [ousted President Mohamed] Morsi after the coup,” Hüseyin Çelik, deputy leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), said via Twitter late Aug. 17. Recalling that Turkish President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had pushed for his election to the post, Çelik said, “As I recall, I say ‘what a pity.’”
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.”
“What ‘all parties?’ Which ‘restraint?’” asked Bozdağ. “There is no conflict between two parties. One of the parties has its thoughts, faith and spirit. The other party has its weapons, force and power.”
According to the deputy prime minister, both the OIC and the Arab League have failed on the Egyptian test, arguing that the OIC was not the organization of kings but of Islam. “Its original name contains the word Islam. How can an organization named after Islam remain silent against this kind of cruel killings of hundreds of women and children,” asked Bozdağ.
The latest conversation between İhsanoğlu and the Turkish government took place on Aug. 17 when Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu phoned the OIC chief to discuss the developments in Egypt after security forces besieged a mosque in Cairo. Davutoğlu reportedly called on the OIC to be more active in the international field regarding the developments in Egypt.
İhsanoğlu gave an interview to private broadcaster NTV on Aug. 17 and summarized the OIC’s position with regard to the Egyptian turmoil. İhsanoğlu suggested that both parties in Egypt, the interim government and the Muslim Brotherhood, had to take a step back to end the turmoil and the bloodshed.
‘They don’t want second Erdoğan in Egypt’
For Bozdağ, an alliance of powerful Arab countries and Western countries has been built to prevent Egypt from becoming a “second Turkey” in the Middle East and to prevent Morsi from becoming a “second Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”
“They say: ‘How can we control the Middle East, if Morsi succeeds and continues on his path like Tayyip Erdoğan, empowered with the will of the people. We do control now thanks to puppet governments, but what will happen tomorrow?’” Bozdağ said.
Bozdağ touched on the fact that the kingdoms in the Middle East region have all backed the Egyptian army’s coup with their money, policies and statements and said the reason was to retain the status quo in their respective countries.
“If democracy, human rights, freedoms, equality and justice can prevail in Egypt; if governments can change upon the will of the people; the [kingdoms] thought that their people could also ask for this one day and oust them from power,” Bozdağ said.