Last updated: 30 August, 2017

Turkish prime minister condemns inaction on Egyptian crisis

Turkey’s prime minister lashed out Saturday at the international response to the escalating crisis in Egypt, saying organisations including the UN and EU should be ashamed of their inaction.

“Let me say very clearly, the United Nations Security Council no longer has the right to look at itself in the mirror, it’s so ashamed, because it couldn’t condemn what’s happening in Egypt,” said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“The same goes for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the European Union,” added the premier, who had cultivated close ties with Egypt’s ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

“Those who stay mute in the face of the latest developments in Egypt are approving the massacres by their silence and sinking in the blood that’s flowing in the country.”

Egypt has seen four days of bloodshed since Wednesday, when around 600 people were killed in clashes as police broke up protest camps of Morsi supporters.

The government said Saturday that 173 people had died in the past 24 hours alone.

The army-installed government that took over following Morsi’s ouster on July 3 has imposed a state of emergency and night-time curfews.

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Egypt on Thursday, but its response was limited to urging all parties in the crisis to exercise “maximum restraint”.

On Friday European leaders including British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande vowed after a flurry of telephone talks to send a strong message on the crisis, but a proposed top-level EU meeting has not yet materialised.

Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) had forged a close alliance with Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood since he was elected in Egypt’s first free election in June 2012.

Thousands of Morsi supporters took to the streets in Turkey on Saturday to denounce the “massacres” in Egypt.

Some 4,000 people gathered at a mosque in Istanbul shouting “Down with (army chief Abdel Fattah) al-Sisi” and “Morsi in power!”

Carrying Egyptian flags, the protesters also implored the Muslim world to “help the Egyptian people who are being massacred.”

In the central Turkish city of Konya, nearly 10,000 people turned out in support of Morsi and his embattled loyalists, according to the Dogan news agency.

Turkey has hardened its tone towards Egypt’s new authorities, recalling its ambassador to Cairo over the violent crackdown Wednesday, prompting a tit-for-tat move by Egypt.

Daily pro-Morsi demonstrations have since taken place in Turkey.

The two countries have also cancelled joint naval exercises planned for October.