Turkish ministers respond to Egypt coup's threat to democracy

Turkish ministers have responded to the coup in Egypt by condemning the role of the army in actvities threatening to democratic values.

Turkish ministers respond to Egypt coup's threat to democracy

World Bulletin/News Desk

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Thursday described the ousting of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi as unacceptable, branding the intervention of army as a “military coup” in contrast to the US and some European bodies, which refrained from using the word “coup.”

“A leader who came [to power] with the support of the people can only be removed through elections. It is unacceptable for democratically elected leaders, for whatever reason, to be toppled through illegal means, even a coup,” Davutoğlu told reporters during a news briefing on Thursday.

Concerns within the country and around the world are growing as the post-coup era may plunge the country into violence, further destabilizing the most populous Arab state.

Summoning all parties in Egypt to be vigilant not to allow violence and chaos after the military intervention, Davutoğlu underlined that Turkey does not just support one group in Egypt, but all people of the country.

Recalling the gains of Egypt's Jan. 25 Revolution, Davutoğlu said recent developments should not put at risk the gains of the revolution that ousted Mubarak after a popular uprising in 2010.

Noting that it is vital to ensure free and fair elections in Egypt as soon as possible, Davutoğlu said it is not acceptable to see politicians arrested or kept under house arrest. On Thursday, the Muslim Brotherhood said Morsi, who said he does not recognize the military coup, has been detained and separated from other officials.

Davutoğlu's response to the intervention in Egypt came after strong remarks by a senior member of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Hüseyin Çelik, condemning the overthrow of the elected president.

Çelik, a deputy chairman and the spokesman of AK Party, denounced the ouster of Morsi in an anti-democratic manner and called on supporters of Morsi to defend their votes. AK Party officials have close relations with members of Morsi's moderate Islamist party, the Freedom and Justice Party.

“I curse the dirty coup in Egypt. I hope the broad masses who brought Morsi to power will defend their votes,” said Çelik on his Twitter feed on Wednesday night.

Noting that Morsi won the elections through his own efforts, Çelik said democracy had “won” in last year's elections in Egypt with Morsi.

“We do not know as of today whether Morsi will resist the military and whether clashes will erupt if he does. But we have to applaud Morsi's unyielding stance in the face of the military's ultimatum two days ago. Blood will be shed if Morsi supporters clash with the military and anti-Morsi groups. We would not approve of that. Yet, we do not say Morsi and his supporters should just swallow this coup,” Çelik added.

He also accused some Western countries who do not want the Muslim Brotherhood to rule Egypt of being behind the military coup. He said that Western circles could not “digest” the MB's rise to power, thus mobilizing masses against the MB rule.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ also criticized the ousting of the president by military force, saying, “Democracy, national will, justice, human dignity and freedoms have been destroyed through a coup in Egypt,” in a tweet he sent from his official Twitter account.

Bozdağ also had things to say about Western powers, most of which stayed short of denouncing the military coup.

“There is no statement from the West or those known powers [condemning the coup]. Where is sincerity in this?” he added in the tweet.

US President Barack Obama in a statement said he was "deeply concerned" by the Egyptian military's political intervention, but fell short of describing the move as a coup. The carefully worded statement thus received criticism from some circles. The statement called for a “quick transition to civilian rule” and warned against arbitrary arrests of MB members.

Commenting on the coup, Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan's aide, İbrahim Kalın, said, “There is no justification for any military coup.” “Tonight, pro- or anti-Morsi, everybody has lost in Egypt,” he wrote on Twitter.

Diplomatic sources told the Turkish media that Foreign Minister Davutoğlu held telephone conversations with his counterparts in the US, Britain, France, Germany and Qatar regarding the latest developments in Egypt.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Temmuz 2013, 09:56
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