Turkey to launch international campaign against Morsi execution
by Anadolu Agency
ANKARAMay 19, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
May 19, 2015 12:00 am
Turkey plans to initiate steps to invoke mechanisms at international organizations regarding former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's death sentence, presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said Monday.
"Our consultations with Qatar and with other Gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, continue. We are also now reviewing the existing mechanisms at international organizations," Kalın said at a press conference.
He said Turkey will be in contact with a number of international organizations, particularly the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.
On Saturday, an Egyptian court referred 122 out of 166 defendants, including Morsi, to the grand mufti to consider possible death sentences against them over charges of escaping from prison and espionage.
"It is crucial for these decisions to be explicitly rejected by international organizations and institutions," Kalın said.
Kalın also said it is "unacceptable" for the countries that always defend democracy to keep silent in the face of the "massacre of law" and "democratic tragedy" in Egypt.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan previously has also called on the West to take a position against the Cairo court's decision and criticized their silence on the issue.
The European Union has called on the Egyptian judiciary on Monday to provide Morsi and more than 100 of his supporters with "the right to a fair trial."
The U.S. and the U.N. both expressed concern about the decision on Sunday.
Cairo said on Sunday that it rejected all "inappropriate comments" on the country's court rulings, labeling them unacceptable interference in Egypt's internal affairs.
"It is not a matter of discussion that we [Turkey] are in a position to harm Egyptian people. Our problem is not with the Egyptian people, rather with the coup administration there. Turkey's doors are open to all Egyptian people," Kalın said.
Situation in Yemen
When Kalın was asked about a possible mediation in Yemen, Kalın said: "If a demand comes to us, of course we will take action in this regard. But I want to say that we are closely following the process and continuing our contacts with Gulf countries."
Saudi-led coalition warplanes resumed bombings of Houthi positions in the southern Yemeni city of Aden following the expiry of a five-day humanitarian cease-fire on Sunday night.
"The Gulf countries should act with good sense to bring all the parties to table," Kalın said.
He added Turkey previously called for a "broad-based" and "multilateral" negotiation process to solve the Yemen crisis.
Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when Houthis overran the capital Sanaa, from which they sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country.
On March 25, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies began an extensive military campaign targeting Houthi positions across Yemen.
Turkish Air Force downs Syrian helicopter
Regarding a Syrian helicopter that was shot down by the Turkish Air Force after it violated Turkey's airspace on Saturday, Kalın said: "What is important is that the response against this violation was direct and timely."
He added: "The Turkish Armed Forces fulfilled their duty within the framework of given authorization and a threat was eliminated."
The General Staff said on Saturday in a statement that two Turkish fighter jets were scrambled after the Syrian aircraft entered Turkish airspace over southern Hatay province. The statement said that the aircraft fell inside Syria once it was hit.
In June 2012, Syrian forces shot down a Turkish fighter jet after it violated Syrian airspace, although Syrian forces issued no warning and the aircraft had already left Syrian airspace when it was targeted.
The incident prompted Ankara to announce that it was changing rules of engagement and would consider any approaching Syrian aircraft as a security threat and shoot them down.