Hundreds of people protested in Istanbul on May 17 against the death penalty for former Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi who was deposed by a military coup in 2013.
An Egyptian court ordered the death penalty for Morsi on May 16 and 105 codefendants, and the decision has been sent to the Egypt’s top religious authority the “Grand Mufti” for approval.
The demonstrators gathered at the courtyard of Fatih Mosque, some of whom carried placards that read: “Murderer Sisi, we are with you, Morsi," and “Pro-coup judges cannot judge Morsi".
On July 3, 2013, Egyptian armed forces led by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi seized control of Egypt, arresting government officers including President Morsi - Egypt’s first democratically-elected president - in the following days.
The demonstration was led by Turkish nongovernmental organisations, including the Association for Free Thought and Educational Rights, or Ozgur-Der, and the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH).
IHH Vice President Osman Atalay urged the United Nations and Amnesty International to take action to prevent the execution of the Egyptian leader and other Egyptians nominated in the case.
“The cost of these executions will be tremendous,” Atalay warned.
The Turkish aid agency IHH was established in 1995. It is known for sending a cargo ship filled with humanitarian aid and construction materials for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in 2010, which came under a deadly Israeli attack.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan harshly criticised the death penalty meted out to former Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi on Saturday, and slammed Western countries for remaining silent.
“The West, unfortunately, still does not reveal its stance against the coup leader Sisi,” said Erdogan.
Morsi's family did not attend Saturday's trial session, citing "their rejection of the legitimacy of the trial."
Egyptian authorities had accused Morsi and 130 others of taking part in a mass jailbreak during Egypt’s 2011 revolution that ousted ex-president and autocrat Hosni Mubarak, who had ruled Egypt for 30 years.
Protests against Morsi, accusing him of using his electoral victories to monopolise power, were launched in Cairo on June 30, 2013 in Tahrir Square while the supporters of Morsi gathered in Rabaa Square.
The pro-Morsi protests continued for six weeks following the military coup in Cairo, until the armed forces raided the protesters’ camps and killed hundreds of Morsi supporters on August 14, 2013.
Human Rights Watch described the raids as “one of the world’s largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history,” with the number of deaths from the Rabaa Square alone being around 2,600, according to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Istanbul-based Ozgur-Der was established in 1999 and is known for organising protests to oppose human rights violations across the world.