Activists in London praise Turkey’s Egypt stance

Published 20.08.2013 14:20
Updated 20.08.2013 14:49

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s condemnation of the military coup by Egyptian generals drew praise from activists in London, who staged a demonstration Sunday in front of Number 10.

By Ragip Soylu

Hundreds of protestors in front of the British Prime Minister's Office at Downing Street, carried placards featuring Erdoğan doing the hand gesture that has come to represent the anti-coup demonstrators at Cairo's Rabaa square.

During the 3-hour demonstration, more than a thousand people condemned last week's bloodshed and chanted slogans, such as "Free free Morsi, where is democracy," "hey ho, Sisi must go," "Cameron, Cameron, can't you see? Sisi killed democracy."

Activists, mainly members of the British Egyptians for Democracy (BE4D), Egyptian Forum in the United Kingdom (EFUK), North African Community Association and Muslim students from various universities based in London, waved banners denouncing the military takeover.

Shawkat Ali, an activist originally from Kashmir, said he was protesting the ongoing massacre and killings in Egypt and described the situation as terrifying.

"We're here in Downing Street to show our resentment to our PM. He should have taken a positive role, like condemning and stopping the massacre in Egypt," he added.

On Saturday Foreign Secretary William Hague called for an end to violence and a return to dialogue in Egypt and condemned "all acts of violence." The foreign secretary also talked to his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoğlu on the phone the same day about the deteriorating situation in Egypt.

Turkey has emerged as one of the fiercest critics of the July 3 ouster of Morsi by the powerful Egyptian military. Ankara has described last Wednesday's violent crackdown on two major anti-coup sit-ins in Cairo's Rabaa and Giza's Nahda squares as a "massacre".

One of the demonstrators who was carrying Turkish PM's photo praised his stance towards the Egyptian regime and thanked him for his support for the people of Egypt. "PM Erdogan stands for democracy and justice. He is the one speaks the truth. He is my man" Khalid Al Turki, a Lebanese-British activist said.

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