Turkey Hits Back At Egypt Amid Diplomatic Row

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Turkey’s foreign ministry has attacked Egypt’s response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recent criticism of the Egyptian government, amid a diplomatic standoff between the two states.

The Turkish ministry said in a statement late Tuesday that “the principle of non-interference in states’ internal affairs cannot be used as a means to legitimise human rights violations.”

It also said that Egypt’s foreign ministry statement on 29 September included “claims and allegations about Turkey that cannot be accepted or taken seriously.”

In its statement, Egypt had said that Erdogan, Ankara’s ex-premier, had shifted Turkey’s political system from a presidential to a parliamentary one and changed the constitution in order to “stay in power for another ten years.”

“This cannot be described as democratic behaviour,” it added, while also calling attention to Erdogan’s “imposed restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly” as well as “excessive use of force” against political activists and peaceful protesters.

The statement also touched on “discrimination against Kurds” in Turkey and Erdogan’s alleged interference in the judiciary, events that the ministry says have also been discussed by international organisations such as the European Union.

Hitting back, Turkey now says that Egypt “does not have any consideration for basic democratic rights.”

Turkey also said that it has a “legal and ethical responsibility to secure the basic rights of the fellow Egyptian people, like other responsible members of the international community.”

Relations between Egypt and Turkey have deteriorated since the popular military-led ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi following last year’s 30 June protests.

The Turkish leader has emerged as one of the fiercest critics of Morsi’s overthrow, repeatedly slamming it as a “coup” and criticising the world’s “inaction” towards the Egyptian government’s crackdown on Islamists in which hundreds have been killed and thousands jailed.

In his speech at a World Economic Forum meeting in Istanbul on Sunday, Erdogan indirectly attacked Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi – the second time in a week that he has taken aim at Egypt.

“Unfortunately, we see that in one country where the will of the people manifested itself, those who were elected with 52 percent of the vote are toppled by one of the ministers of the cabinet,” Erdogan said.

Source : Ahram online