Thousands gather throughout Turkey to hold funeral prayers for Morsi

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ISTANBUL
Published 18.06.2019 14:41
Updated 18.06.2019 20:04
A man holds a picture of the former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi during a symbolic funeral prayer at the courtyard of Fatih Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, June 18, 2019. (Reuters Photo)
A man holds a picture of the former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi during a symbolic funeral prayer at the courtyard of Fatih Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, June 18, 2019. (Reuters Photo)

Thousands joined funeral prayers in absentia throughout Turkey on Tuesday for Egypt's first democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi, who died Monday after collapsing during a Cairo court session.


Fatih Mosque in Istanbul. (AA Photo)

The prayer called by Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) took place at the Fatih Mosque in Istanbul, where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was also among those praying.

"A funeral prayer in absentia for Mohamed Morsi, who we learnt passed away yesterday, will be held following the afternoon prayer in Istanbul's Fatih Mosque. I will also attend funeral prayer in abstention for our martyr Morsi," Erdoğan said in a Twitter post.

Speaking after the prayers, Erdoğan said, "I would like to pay homage and extend my condolences to all of the people of Egypt" over the death of Morsi, whom he called Egypt's rightful leader and a martyr. Erdoğan condemned the western world for remaining silent during the coup to remove Morsi and the following six years in prison, during which time he was tortured.

"I do not believe that Morsi's death is a natural one," Erdoğan said.

"Morsi wanted to buried in his village as he stated in his will, but el-Sissi denied him that. They are even scared of the remains of Egypt's first democratically elected president," he added.


Grand Mosque of Bursa. (AA Photo)

In the capital Ankara, hundreds gathered outside the Egyptian Embassy in a demonstration in remembrance of Morsi, denouncing the government of current Egyptian leader Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.


Hacı Bayram Mosque, Ankara. (AA Photo)

Hundreds, including Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül, Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın, former Parliament Speaker and Presidency High Advisory Board Member Bülent Arınç, attended the funeral prayer led by Diyanet President Ali Erbaş at the Hacı Bayram Mosque.


Grand Mosque of Diyarbakır. (AA Photo)

Thousands of others also gathered in Bursa, Konya and Diyarbakır as well as in dozens of other provinces to hold funeral prayers in absentia.


Konak Square, Izmir. (IHA Photo)

The Diyanet announced Monday evening that funeral prayers in absentia would be held Tuesday in mosques across the country to honor Morsi's life and his struggle.


Sultan Selim Mosque near Mevlana's Tomb, Konya. (AA Photo)

Morsi was elected president in 2012 but was ousted in a military coup a year later. The military crushed the Muslim Brotherhood movement in a major crackdown, arresting Morsi and many others of the group's leaders, who have been in prison undergoing multiple trials ever since the coup.

Turkey's relations with Cairo deteriorated after the Egyptian military, then led by el-Sissi, ousted Morsi. Erdoğan has strongly condemned Morsi's ouster.

Morsi reportedly died from a heart attack Monday during a court session. The country's state television reported early Tuesday that Morsi was "suffering from a benign tumor, had continuous medical attention and his death was caused by a heart attack."

He was buried in Nasr City, east of Cairo, early Tuesday morning.

Amnesty International and other rights groups have called for a fair, transparent and comprehensive investigation into Morsi's death and raised questions about his treatment in prison. Egypt's government has dismissed accusations that he was badly treated.

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