News / Middle East

Turkish PM Condemns Removal of Morsi

Pro-Islamic Turks, in support  of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi shout slogans including "This is the home of the murderers" as they point toward the U.S embassy during a protest in Ankara, July 5, 2013.
Pro-Islamic Turks, in support of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi shout slogans including "This is the home of the murderers" as they point toward the U.S embassy during a protest in Ankara, July 5, 2013.
Dorian Jones

Unlike its key Arab allies, Turkey has condemned the overthrow of the Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Analysts warn that the fall of Morsi has dealt a major blow to Turkey's ambition of extending its influence across the Middle East.

Turkey's prime minister on Friday condemned the military intervention that toppled Egypt's Islamist president Mohamed Morsi as an enemy of democracy, and criticized the West for failing to brand the ouster a coup.

Referring to his country's history of coups, Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that such military uprisings come at a heavy price.

"Coups are evil. Coups target people, the future of democracy. I want this to be expressed by everyone with courage. I am surprised with the West. European Parliament disregards its own values by not calling the military intervention in Egypt a coup. It is a test of sincerity and the West failed the class," said Erdogan.


Both Brussels and Washington have so far refrained from describing the removal of Morsi as a coup.

But Ankara's key regional allies also appear to be taking a careful approach. Saudi Arabia and Qatar congratulated the newly appointed Egyptian President Adly Mansour.

Analysts says there are also significant diplomatic implications for Turkey with the overthrow of the Egyptian president.

According to diplomatic columnist Kadri Gursel of the Turkish newspaper Milliyet, Erdogan saw Morsi's strong Islamist roots as a good investment politically, giving both countries a wider influence diplomatically across the region.

"The fall out [of Morsi] on Turkey will be psychologically heavy on the government. The so-called great wisdom of establishing a new regional order with Islamist regimes founded after Arab revolts, notably Egypt Tunisia, Libya, and in this case the future Syria, also seen as an actor. So the regional new order, excluding the foreign actors in the region, well, all of this, I think has gone," said Gursel.

Prime Minister Erdogan's controversial planned trip to the Islamist controlled Gaza strip may also be in jeopardy. The visit has been repeatedly delayed as a result of concern by Washington, Tel Aviv and the Palestinian Authority.

Diplomatic columnist Gursel says with the ousting of President Morsi it virtually rules out any hope for Erdogan's Gaza visit.

"Mr. Erdogan will not go to Gaza for an indefinite time frame. Because under these conditions he cannot go to Gaza through Rafa Gate. There will be no welcoming situation for him in Egypt. He cannot go to Egypt run by the military. It is impossible," he said.

The loss of a crucial ally in the Middle East is another blow to Erdogan's prestige, which has already been damaged by weeks of civil unrest against his leadership. Observers point out its likely only to add to the growing perception that Ankara is increasingly under siege.

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