Erdogan cancels Gaza trip after running afoul of Egypt government

Turkish provokes wrath of Egyptian army-backed interim government for criticizing West's response to Morsi ouster.

August 4, 2013 15:55
1 minute read.
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan waves at his parliament.

erdogan waves at turkish parliament 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Egyptian media is reporting on Sunday that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anticipated visit to the Gaza Strip has been canceled, according to Israel Radio.

Erdogan, who was due in Gaza last month but postponed the visit following the Egyptian military’s overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, has provoked the wrath of the army-backed government in Cairo over his fervent condemnations of Morsi’s ouster and his overt sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Turkish premier was highly critical of what he viewed as the West’s passive response in allowing the Egyptian army to take down a democratically elected government.

Erdogan accused Western and Arab nations of "double standards" for failing to condemn the overthrow Morsi, whose Muslim Brotherhood like Erdogan has Islamist roots.

Turkey has emerged as one of the fiercest international critics of what it has called an "unacceptable coup" after Egypt's powerful military shunted the country's elected leader from office earlier this month.

Although the United States has expressed concern at Morsi's removal and called for a swift return to democracy, as has the European Union, it has stopped short of calling it a coup, which might have led to sanctions.

Gulf Arab states, which see Egypt as a strategic ally against any threat from non-Arab Iran, celebrated his departure with palpable relief.

"Countries which embrace and care about democracy should not behave with double standards towards these kinds of events and should say something is wrong when it is wrong," Erdogan told Western, Arab and other ambassadors last month.

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