The new Egyptian government warned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government officials against meddling in the North African country’s internal affairs.
In an interview with Turkey’s English-language daily Today’s Zaman on Sunday, Erdogan said that ousted leader Mohamed Mursi is the only legitimate president of Egypt.
“Currently, my president in Egypt is Mursi because he was elected by the people,” he stated. “If we don’t judge the situation like that it is tantamount to ignoring the Egyptian people.”
In separate statements, Turkish government officials recently denounced the Egyptian military’s removal of Mursi, the country’s first democratically elected leader, as an “unacceptable coup”, press tv reported.
On Tuesday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry expressed “strong resentment at comments like these, which… represent a clear intervention in internal Egyptian affairs,” said Badr Abdelatty, the ministry spokesman.
Later in the day, Egyptian presidential spokesman Ahmed Elmoslmany also issued a statement about the issue, saying, “I consider the (Turkish) statements inappropriate and I consider it interference in Egyptian internal affairs.”
“I clearly say to Ankara, it should respect Egyptian sovereignty and the will of the Egyptian people. Egypt did not interfere in what happened in Taksim Square,” Elmoslmany said, referring to anti-government protests in Istanbul last month.
“Turkey has to understand it is speaking about a big country with a great history,” he added.
Meanwhile, according to a report published on Tuesday in Today’s Zaman, Turkish President Abdullah Gul demanded the immediate release of Mursi, who is being held incommunicado at an undisclosed location.
In a televised speech late on July 3 night, Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced that Mursi, a former leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, was no longer in office and declared that the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mahmoud Mansour, had been appointed as the new interim president of Egypt. The army also suspended the constitution.
Army officials said ousted President Mursi, who took office in June 2012, was being held “preventively” by the military.
On July 4, Mansour was sworn in as interim president. Next day, he dissolved the Shura Council by decree.