Yesterday thousands of mourners took part in prayers for Morsi in Turkey a day after the Egyptian president collapsed and died in court. Worshippers packed into squares and mosques in Ankara and Diyabakir to offer prayers in absentia for Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who won Egypt’s first democratic election in 2012 before being deposed.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a close ally of Morsi during his short tenure as president, and one of the fiercest international critics of the coup that toppled him. In Egypt, a small ceremony was held Tuesday to bury Morsi in a cemetery in the east of the capital Cairo after his family said a request for a public burial in his hometown were denied by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government.
At Istanbul’s Fatih mosque, where thousands joined in prayers, Erdogan called Morsi a “martyr” and blamed Egypt’s “tyrants” for his death, adding that he doesn’t believe that Morsi died of natural causes.
“I don’t believe that this was a normal death,” Erdogan said. The Turkish president also denounced the Egyptian authorities for burying Morsi discreetly, with only a small number of family members and confidants present.
“They are so cowardly that they could not even deliver his body to his family,” Erdogan said.