World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkish EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bağış has criticized the EU due to its stance on Egypt, where the military toppled the nation's Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, calling on the EU authorities to take action on the situation in the North African country.
Reports said Bağış made separate phone calls with a number of politicians including Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, European Parliament Chairman Martin Schulz, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Füle, Greek Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and EP member and former French Justice Minister Rachida Dati to discuss the issue. The Turkish minister reportedly called on the EU to change its stance on Egypt, saying respect for democracy is a must for the 28-nation bloc.
“By remaining silent on the situation in Syria, the EU damages its own reputation,” Bağış warned.
The Egyptian military on Wednesday overthrew the country's first democratically elected president, suspended the constitution, called for new elections and announced it would install a temporary civilian government. The country's chief justice was sworn in as interim president on Thursday.
The EU called for a rapid return to democracy in Egypt last week after Morsi's ouster, but refused to call the events in the country a “military coup.”
Minister Bağış also called on the United Nations to act on the situation in Egypt. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a lengthy phone conversation with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday and expressed deep concern over the future of democracy in the North African country, which faces the risks of polarization and a protracted political crisis following the military coup.
Erdoğan had already said that the military coup is "unacceptable" and that the elected government must be changed via the "ballot box," not by other means including by force, referring to the recent coup in Egypt.
On Monday, at least 42 people were killed during morning prayers in clashes outside a military building in Cairo where supporters of the former president were holding a sit-in.
Military spokesmen said gunmen opened fire on troops at the building, killing at least five supporters of Morsi and one officer.
A spokesman from Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, Mourad Ali, and a witness at the scene, however, said military forces opened fire at dawn on protesters outside the Republican Guard building. The different accounts could not be reconciled.
“I strongly condemn the massacre during the morning prayer in the name of the values of humanity,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on his Twitter account in a first official reaction from Turkey.Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Temmuz 2013, 10:28