Egypt calls Erdogan statements ‘ironic,’ accuses Turkey of sponsoring terrorism
Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman, Ahmed Hafez, slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statements at the UN General Assembly this week where he urged the UN to “handle the suspicious death of Morsi,” referring to the deceased former president of Egypt, and member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In an official statement, Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman, Ahmed Hafez, said that Erdogan “claimed to defend the values of justice in his speech, but at the core showed feelings of hatred and spite toward Egypt and its people who have nothing but appreciation for the people of Turkey.”
Hafez added that it was “ironic” for Erdogan to make these allegations “in light of his sponsorship of terrorism in the region due to his regime’s flagrant violations against the friendly Turkish people where he tries to hold them hostage to a fake freedom and alleged justice.”
He went on to list ongoing human rights violations in Turkey under Erdogan’s leadership, including the thousands of political prisoners, the suspicious deaths of dozens of prisoners due to torture or inhuman prison conditions, and the closure of thousands of universities and educational institutions.
Erdogan had blamed Morsi’s death on current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, stating that “Sisi is a tyrant, not a democrat.”
“They didn’t make the slightest intervention as the country’s first democratically elected president suffered for more than 20 minutes. They didn’t deliver his remains to his family or let him be buried in his hometown per his will,” Erdogan said on Sunday during a gathering in New York with heads of Muslim organizations in the US.
The gathering was sponsored by the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC), whose co-chairperson is Erdogan’s cousin. In 2016, TASC officials were questioned by US authorities on suspicion of involvement in political espionage on behalf of the Turkish government.
Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi died in a hospital in June after fainting during a court hearing.
The public prosecutor said he had collapsed in a defendants’ cage in the courtroom shortly after speaking, and had been pronounced dead in hospital at 4:50 p.m. (1450 GMT).
Morsi’s family attended funeral prayers a day after his death in the mosque of Tora prison, then buried him in Cairo’s western district of Nasr City.
In the statement, Hafez said that the Turkish president’s “malicious practices are apparent after he embraced the terrorist Brotherhood organization and its elements in Turkey, and provided them with political support and media platforms for its terrorist elements to continue to promote their subversive ideas in Egypt and the Region.”
He added that Erdogan’s statements on Egypt are a “desperate attempt for him to steer attention away from his deteriorating regime and the successive losses he is suffering on the party level, the Turkish scene, and the international arena.”
The Turkish leader had come under heavy fire after the country’s top election body annulled the results of the March 31 mayoral vote in Istanbul and ordered a re-run on June 23.
The original vote was narrowly won by the opposition candidate, dealing the ruling AKP party its first defeat in the city, which has been controlled by the AKP and its predecessors, for 25 years. But Erdogan alleged “serious corruption” in the count.
In his UNGA speech, Erdogan also compared Israel to Nazi Germany, referring to the “massacre in the Gaza Strip” and comparing it to the Holocaust.