Turkish PM hails Morsi over vote on charter

Turkish PM hails Morsi over vote on charter

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish PM hails Morsi over vote on charter

Policemen stand near a banner that reads, ‘We support you against corruption!’ REUTERS photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rushed to congratulate Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi over his referendum victory late Dec. 23 even though official referendum results have yet to be announced.

During the telephone conversation, Erdoğan expressed his hope that the referendum results would be good for the Egyptian people, Anatolia news agency reported, citing anonymous sources.

In response, Morsi thanked Erdoğan and said the referendum was an important step for Egypt’s stability, Anatolia said.

Despite the hasty congratulation, Egypt was still – as of Dec. 24 – awaiting the official results of the referendum on a new Constitution reportedly backed by two-thirds of voters but which the opposition alleged was riddled with fraud.

Egypt remains in a political crisis that erupted a month ago when Morsi allocated himself near-absolute powers to push through the charter written up by an Islamist-dominated panel. Fierce protests, including violent clashes on Dec. 5 that killed eight people and wounded hundreds, led to Morsi giving up those powers early this month.

Most recently, Erdoğan initiated a telephone conversation with Morsi on Dec. 8, when he suggested the Egyptian leader launch dialogue with the opposition. Erdoğan also noted at the time that Turkey had been closely following the developments in Egypt.

Turkish leaders have been closely following the developments in Egypt, as Erdoğan’s call to Morsi on Dec. 8 came only a day after a similar initiative by President Abdullah Gül.