Turkish NGO head says Morsi rejected asylum in Turkey

Deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was reportedly invited by Turkish groups to apply for asylum several times, but rejected offers on grounds that he could not leave his people behind

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) head Fehmi Bulent Yildirim said that deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was invited several times by Turkish groups to his country for asylum, but he rejected the offers on the grounds that he could not leave his people and friends behind.

Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, and his Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government were ousted by a military coup in July 2013 led by former top general Abdel Fattah el Sisi who is now the president of Egypt.

Yildirim gave a statement in front of Egypt’s Istanbul consulate during a Turkish protest against Egyptian court decisions concerning Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders, as well as supporters of the group, the Turkish daily Yeni Safak reported.

Cairo’s Criminal Court sentenced Morsi to death for breaking out of jail in 2011, despite deciding to revise a previous death sentence for espionage down to 25 years in prison.

The Muslim Brotherhood's grand leader Mohamed Badie was also sentenced to death for breaking out of jail.

Seventeen other Muslim Brotherhood supporters were sentenced to death in the espionage case, including Khairat al Shater and Mohammed al Beltagy. Thirteen more defendants were additionally sentenced to death in absentia.

Ninety-four other co-defendants were also sentenced to death in absentia on similar charges, including prominent Muslim scholar Yusuf al Qaradawi.

Yildirim said, “The Muslim Brotherhood is the most organised group of the Sunni Muslim world. It is powerful enough to mobilise approximately 100 million people in places like Middle East, Central Asia, and Far East. It has the ability to move the whole Islamic world.”

“There will naturally be big chaos in Egypt if this execution is carried out against Morsi. This chaos will spread to Saudi Arabia where the Brotherhood is also very powerful, so the Saudi regime which supported the coup should persuade Sisi to release all the prisoners of the Brotherhood,” he added.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has also commented on the recent death sentence given to Mohamed Morsi, saying that "We think that Saudi Arabia can play an important role in revoking death sentences and releasing political prisoners in Egypt,” following his meeting with Saudi King Salman in Jeddah.

The Muslim Brotherhood was established by Muslim scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna in the Egyptian city of Ismailia in 1928 following World War I, the result of which had accelerated the colonisation of the Middle East by the European powers led by Britain and France.

The movement succeeded in combining political activism based on Islamic values with charity work for the benefit of ordinary people, and influenced other groups throughout the Muslim world.

However, the organisation has suffered from periodic government crackdowns in Egypt for allegedly being behind militant activities in the country. In April 2011 it established a new political party called the Freedom and Justice Party, which won 235 of the 498 seats in the 2011 Egyptian parliamentary elections.

The party’s presidential candidate was Morsi, who defeated Ahmed Shafiq - the last prime minister under the rule of autocrat Hosni Mubarak - by winning 51.73 percent of the vote.  

TRTWorld and agencies