Erdogan lashes out at 'totalitarian' Sisi over Egypt executions

Erdogan lashes out at 'totalitarian' Sisi over Egypt executions
2 min read
24 February, 2019
Erdogan said he would refuse to talk to Sisi after sharply criticising Egypt's execution of nine people last week following trials marred by torture allegations.
Erdogan sharply criticised his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. [Getty]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sharply criticised his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi after the recent execution of nine people in Egypt, saying he refused to talk to "someone like him".

"They killed nine young people recently. This is not something we can accept," Erdogan said Saturday in an interview with Turkish TV channels CNN-Turk and Kanal D, referring to the execution Wednesday of nine men sentenced for the murder of the Egyptian prosecutor general in 2015.

"Of course, we are going to be told that it is a decision of the judiciary, but there, justice, elections, all that, are codswallop. There is an authoritarian system, even totalitarian," Erdogan added.

"Now, I am answering those who wonder why Tayyip Erdogan does not speak to Sisi, because there are mediators who come here sometimes, but I will never talk to someone like him," he said.

Egypt hanged the nine men in the early hours of Wednesday morning, despite urgent appeals and protests condemning the way they were convicted of assassinating a public prosecutor in 2015.

Amnesty International condemned the executions, saying: "executing men who were convicted in trials marred by torture allegations is not justice but a testament to the magnitude of injustice in the country."

Relations between Turkey and Egypt have been virtually non-existent since the Egyptian military, then led by Sisi, in 2013 ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, a close ally of Erdogan.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood is outlawed in Egypt but members of the group have sought refuge in Turkey.

Erdogan, who denounced Morsi's ouster, sometimes draws a parallel with the failed coup against himself in 2016.

The Turkish president also called for the release of Muslim Brotherhood prisoners in Egypt. 

"First of all, he should release all those imprisoned with a general amnesty. As long as these people have not been released, we will not be able to talk with Sisi," he said.

Erdogan also attacked Western countries which, according to him, "roll out the red carpet" for Sisi and turn a blind eye to the latest executions in Egypt.

"Where are the Westerners? Have you heard their voices?" he said.

"On the other hand, when it comes to people imprisoned in our country (Turkey), they scream bloody murder."

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