Turkey’s former president Abdullah Gul has criticised the death sentence handed to Egypt’s former president Mohamed Morsi, while members of political parties and NGOs have gathered in front of Egypt’s Consulate General in Istanbul to protest the decision which they accuse of serving a “coup regime.”
Gul wrote on his Twitter account on early Wednesday that the death sentence for Morsi should be reversed in order to ensure stability and peace in Egypt.
“Approval of the death sentence for president Morsi and his friends has no benefit to Egypt or to the region. These penalties must be reversed for establishing a consensus, stability and peace in Egypt,” said Gul.
An Egyptian court ordered the death penalty for Morsi and 105 codefendants on May 16, and the decision was sent to the Egypt’s top religious authority, the “Grand Mufti,” for approval.
Grand Mufti refused to approve the death sentence for Morsi’s “espionage” conviction, however he did approve it for his conviction for “jailbreaking” on Tuesday.
Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, was deposed by a military coup in July 2013 following protests launched by his opponents.
In reaction to the latest decision, hundreds of Turkish citizens marched to the Egyptian Consulate General in Istanbul to protest the death sentences and the “pro-coup” government.
Holding placards written “Damn Sisi, We Stand With You Morsi,” “Coup Leader Sisi Will Pay the Price,” “Thousands of Salaams from Istanbul to Egypt and to Resistance,” the youth wings of some Turkish political parties and members of NGOs slammed the army led regime and chanted that “Egyptians are not alone.”
The Istanbul-based International Rabaa Platform has criticised the death penalty as an insult against the Muslim world, coming only two days before the holy month of Ramadan.
"All actors that support the military coup are responsible for these verdicts," Coordinator Cihangir Isbilir said on Tuesday.
The United Nations and the European Union have condemned the death sentences and want Egyptian authorities to revise them.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said on Tuesday that the executions of hundreds of people are worrying.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement on Tuesday that the death penalty represents “an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.”
Egyptian authorities have accused Morsi and 130 others of taking part in a mass jailbreak during the 2011 revolution in Egypt which deposed President Hosni Mubarak who had ruled Egypt for 30 years.
Anti-Morsi protests over accusations that the former prime minister used his electoral victories to monopolise power were launched in Cairo on June 30, 2013, in Tahrir Square. In return, the supporters of Morsi gathered in Rabaa Square.
On July 3, 2013, the armed forces led by General Abdel Fattah el Sisi seized control of Egypt, arresting government officers in the following days alongside other top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood - a transnational organisation known for its political activism combined with Islamic charity work.
The pro-Morsi protests continued for six weeks following the military coup in Cairo, until the Egyptian armed forces raided the protest camps and killed hundreds of Morsi supporters on Aug. 14, 2013.
Human Rights Watch has 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 massacre alone totalling about 2,600, according to the Muslim Brotherhood.