Saudi execution critics have double standards, Erdogan says

Turkish President Erdogan says some have remained silent over 400,000 deaths in Syria while creating an uproar over execution of one person in Saudi Arabia

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the mukhtars meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara on Jan. 6, 2016

Updated Jan 7, 2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has questioned the integrity of those who have not commented on 400,000 deaths in Syria but are outraged over the execution of one man in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia executed Nimr al Nimr, a prominent Shiite cleric, last weekend along with 46 others on terrorism charges, prompting violent protests in Iran against Saudi diplomatic missions in the country.

"The decision of execution could be right or wrong. It is a domestic legal issue," Erdogan said during a speech in Ankara on Wednesday.

"The decision has already been made by Saudi Arabia. Approving or not approving the decision is another issue. This practice [execution] exists in Saudi Arabia as well as in Iran. The US also has it. Nobody objects [to these practices in the other countries]," Erdogan stated.

"In Egypt, [the government] has issued death penalties for more than one thousand people. Where is the world? Why did you not speak up about those decisions?” he asked.

Erdogan said that though deposed Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi had previously been elected with over 50 percent of the popular vote no country properly criticised an Egyptian court's decision to sentence him to death except Turkey.

He also said that the storming of the Saudi embassy in the Iranian capital was "quite unacceptable."

Turkey has repeatedly urged both countries to resolve their political differences in "a diplomatic language" with "deliberation" and common sense.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have opposing political stances in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Bahrain where Iran, the Shiite powerhouse of the Middle East, supports Shiite-aligned governments and groups against Sunni opposition groups or governments.

Iran has a majority Shiite population while Saudi Arabia's population is mostly Sunni.

TRTWorld, Reuters