Tensions between Cairo and Ankara flared once again after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to seek the Egyptian government’s “trial” in international courts over the death of deposed former President Mohammed Morsi earlier this week.
Morsi served as president for a year when he was elected in June 2012. He was ousted by popular protests against his regime and the Muslim Brotherhood. He died after suffering a heart attack while appearing in court. He was in court for a hearing on charges of espionage emanating from contacts with Hamas, which had close ties to the banned Brotherhood.
On Thursday, Erdogan accused Egyptian authorities of “assassinating” Morsi.
He underlined his determination to seek accountability in the case when he attends the G20 summit in Japan later this month.
“I believe the United Nations will put Morsi’s suspicious death on its agenda and hold those responsible accountable,” he said in a speech at a rare news conference with foreign journalists in Istanbul.
His remarks sparked fierce official and popular criticism in Egypt.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry deemed the “irresponsible” statements as “crude violations” against Egypt, vowing that Cairo will confront any threats.
Erdogan has made false claims to exploit them for electoral purposes, he added in reference to Sunday’s mayoral polls in Istanbul. His remarks reveal the depth of his ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, Shoukri added.
The minister accused Erdogan of spreading “extremist thought” that is adopted by the Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, ISIS and other terrorist organizations.
Erdogans’s comment expose the spite he harbors towards the Egyptian people and leadership and their successes on all fronts, he continued.
Relations between Egypt and Turkey had deteriorated after Morsi’s ouster in what Ankara described as a “coup against legitimacy.”
Turkey had also taken in hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood leaders who are wanted by Egypt on criminal charges.
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