Turkey

Morsi is martyr for his cause: Turkish president

‘Muslims will remember former Egyptian president for honorable struggle he carried out until his last breath’, says Erdogan

Cigdem Alyanak and Sefa Mutlu   | 18.06.2019
Morsi is martyr for his cause: Turkish president

ISTANBUL 

Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is a martyr for his cause, and history will not forget the tyrants who caused his death, Turkey’s president said Monday.

Speaking at an event at the Halic Congress Center in Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan recalled that Morsi had been elected by the Egyptian people and jailed after he was overthrown by "tyrant" Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who had been a member of Morsi’s cabinet.

"The late Morsi was tried and sentenced to death by the coup courts and drew his last breath in a courtroom again, which is a symbol of the years of long persecution against him and his people," Erdogan said.

"The oppressors may make attempts against the lives of the oppressed and may even lead them to be martyred, but they can never harm the glory of their struggle," he added.

All Muslims will remember the late Morsi for the honorable struggle he carried out until his last breath, Erdogan said.

"For us, Morsi is a martyr for his cause. History will never forget those tyrants who put him in prison, threatened him with death and led to his martyrdom.”

Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, died Monday during a court appearance to face espionage charges.

A leading member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood group, Morsi won the country’s first free presidential election in 2012.

After only one year in office, however, he was ousted and imprisoned in a bloody military coup led by Sisi, Egypt's then defense minister and current president.

At the time of his death, Morsi faced a host of legal charges, which he along with numerous human rights groups and independent observers said were politically motivated.

Do-over polls in Istanbul

Erdogan stressed that he was elected Istanbul’s mayor in 1994, with his Refah party also winning in 28 other cities, including the capital Ankara.

 “Regardless of their external appearance, political opinion, ethnic origin, belief or sect, we do not hold prejudices towards anyone.

 “As we try to reach our people in Fatih district, we try to convey our messages to our brothers in the back streets of Kadıkoy and Beyoglu districts and to explain our projects,” he added.

Erdogan said that before 1994, there was an Istanbul “known for corruption, poverty and bans”, and today there is an Istanbul “that looks to its future with confidence”. He added that Istanbul is now known for the Marmaray metro line that connects Asia and Europe, the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge -- the third bridge over the Bosporus -- and Istanbul Airport, one of the world’s biggest airports.

Millions of Turkish citizens cast their votes nationwide on March 31 in local elections to choose mayors, city council members, mukhtars (neighborhood officials) and members of elder councils for the next five years.

But election authorities cancelled the result of the Istanbul mayoral race after the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and its electoral partner the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) appealed, citing irregularities and violations of Turkish election law.

Do-over polls for the Istanbul metropolitan municipality will be held on June 23.

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