Thousands perform funeral prayers for ousted Egyptian President Morsi in Turkey

Thousands perform funeral prayers for ousted Egyptian President Morsi in Turkey
Thousands of worshippers, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, took part in funeral prayers for former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Turkey.
3 min read
18 June, 2019
Funeral prayers were held in all of Turkey's provinces [AFP]
Thousands of worshippers, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan among them, gathered on Tuesday in mosques across Turkey to perform funeral prayers for former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

Morsi fainted and died in court on Monday after years in prison, where he was kept in solitary confinement and denied medical care for chronic ailments including diabetes.

The Muslim Brotherhood politician became Egypt's first democratically-elected in 2012 but was ousted one year later in a military coup.

Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), which manages the affairs of the country's mosques, on Monday night called for absentee funeral prayers to be held in a central mosque in each of Turkey's 81 provinces.

Thousands of worshippers attended the funeral prayer for Morsi in Fatih, a conservative district of Istanbul that also has a large Syrian population, according to pro-government Daily Sabah.

Among those attending in Fatih was Erdogan, who on Monday expressed sorrow and anger over Morsi’s death.

"May Allah rest our brother Morsi, our martyr's soul, in peace," said the president, who had forged close ties with Morsi. "My condolences to the people of Egypt."

Erdogan proceeded to describe incumbent Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as a "tyrant" who "has executed at least 50 Egyptians".

Around 500 people also gathered in the capital Ankara, halting traffic outside the Egyptian Embassy on Tuesday morning, in a protest against his death.

Protesters chanted "Murderer Sisi, martyr Morsi" and held up signs reading "Putschists will be defeated", according to Reuters.

Worshippers also gathered outside the Egyptian Consulate in Istanbul on Monday night, where they took part in performing the absentee funeral prayer for Morsi.

President Erdogan, leading of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), was not the only Turkish political figure to make a statement over Morsi's death.

Worshippers attend a funeral prayer for Morsi in Konya, a conservative, central Anatolian city [Twitter]

"Morsi was overthrown in a coup. We opposed the coup," Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of Turkey's largest opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP), said. "Political executions cause great wounds to society."

Turkey itself has a long history of coups, with a 1960 military coup overthrowing the country's first government elected through multi-party elections. The then-President Adnan Menderes was executed after the coup.

Selahattin Demirtas, former co-leader of the leftist, pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP), said: "I have never been close to the Muslim Brotherhood. But in principle I have always emphasised that no matter who is attacked because of their political thoughts, we will stand by the oppressed, the victim."

Demirtas made the statement in a tweet, his first in three months. The former presidential candidate has been imprisoned since 2016.

Temel Karamolloglu, leader of the Islamist opposition Felicity Party (FP), added: "I believe Morsi's uncompromising stand, his life and struggle will be recorded in history and present an example to the future generations."