Turkey's Islamist Gov't Rejects Egypt Coup

Turkey's Islamist Gov't Rejects Egypt Coup

The government of Turkey has rejected the recent coup in Egypt, describing the ouster of the democratically-elected Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohamed Morsi as “unacceptable, no matter what the reasons,” the Associate Press reports. Turkey, which is governed by an Islamist party under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has seen several similar coups in the past, when the military forced out Islamist governments.

In recent weeks, Turkey has seen its own massive anti-government protests, as the nation’s urban, secular population has lashed out at increasing Islamist control of Turkish culture and institutions. Erdogan, who has been re-elected since 2001, provoked larger counter-demonstrations in the country’s capital, Istanbul, when he attempted to crack down harshly on protests around redevelopment of a public park (annulled Thursday by the courts).

The Turkish opposition has criticized the increasingly authoritarian nature of Erdogan’s government. Regarding Egypt, however, both the ruling party and the opposition were united in condemning the actions of the Egyptian military. Kemal Kililcdaroglu, who leads the main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party, said that “staging a military coup to design societies is not a correct thing in the 21st century and it shouldn’t be accepted.”

Erdogan’s own party, the Justice and Development Party, blamed foreign influences for stirring up unrest in Egypt–a familiar approach from domestic protests, which the government blamed on Jews. Yet the Egypt coup is particularly troubling to Turkey’s ruling party, given that it had seen Morsi’s government as a kindred example of an Islamist party rising to power democratically and enacting its principles through state institutions.