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OIC Under Fire For Not Speaking Against Egypt 'Massacre'

OIC Under Fire For Not Speaking Against Egypt 'Massacre'
8/19/2013 4:58 AM ET

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has come under heavy fire by Turkish leaders for not speaking against the army-led "massacre" in Egypt.

In a television interview on Sunday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag called on OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu to quit rather than heading such an "ineffective" organization.

"When such an organization has failed to raise its voice about Egypt, it is in denial of its raison d'etre. If I was Ihsanoglu, I would already have resigned," Bozdag was quoted as saying in the interview.

Bozdag also deplored statements from some Islamic countries which branded Egyptian protesters as "terrorists." He said Islamic monarchies in the Middle East support the coup regime "in order to protect their own power and avoid any wave of democracy from Egypt rolling over to their own countries."

Based in the Saudi Red Sea port city of Jeddah, the 57-nation OIC bloc is the second-largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations.

Turkey and the oil-rich Gulf countries, which had found common ground in their support for the Syrian Opposition in fighting against President Bashar al-Assad, have opposing stances regarding the "military coup" in Egypt. While Saudi Arabia openly supported the military-backed interim government headed by Adly Mansour in Egypt, Ankara declined to even meet with that administration saying that Egypt wanted to "use Ankara for its own legitimacy."

Addressing a gathering in Bursa province on Saturday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "there are some [Islamic countries] who called the martyrs [in Egypt] terrorists," in indirect criticism of the Gulf countries.

"There is state terrorism in Egypt right now. Those who applaud this state terrorism are on the same path along with them [the Egyptian coup administration]. There are two portraits of Egypt right now; one is of those who follow the Pharaoh and the other is of those who follow Moses," Erdogan was quoted by Turkish media as saying.

Responding to the criticism, Ihsanoglu, who is also a Turkish national, tweeted that "no countries have made an official demand to discuss the issues in Egypt [in order to take a common stance,]" implying that no such demand has come even from Turkey, also an OIC member.

Turkey has found itself alone in strongly condemning the Egyptian military's ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi as clearly being a coup and in calling on the Egyptian military to restore the democratically elected government. Turkey also demands that Morsi be released from detention immediately.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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