July 16, 2013 / 2:43 PM / 6 years ago

Egypt warns Turkey not to meddle in its affairs

Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi carry posters of Mursi during clashes on the Sixth of October Bridge over the Ramsis square area in central Cairo July 15, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt warned Turkey on Tuesday against interfering in its internal affairs following Ankara’s condemnation of the overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi, which has reoriented diplomatic relations across the region.

Turkey’s government, which like Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood has Islamist roots, denounced the Egyptian military’s removal of Mursi, an elected leader, as an “unacceptable coup” in what Cairo views as the strongest criticism from overseas.

“I consider the (Turkish) statements inappropriate and I consider it interference in Egyptian internal affairs,” presidential spokesman Ahmed Elmoslmany told reporters in Cairo.

Last week, Egypt summoned Turkey’s ambassador to protest about Ankara’s statements on developments in Cairo.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has also condemned bloody clashes in Cairo between Republican Guard soldiers and pro-Mursi demonstrators in which 57 people were killed and many more injured.

“I clearly say to Ankara, it should respect Egyptian sovereignty and the will of the Egyptian people. Egypt did not interfere in what happened in Taksim Square,” Elmoslmany said, referring to anti-government protests in Istanbul last month.

“Turkey has to understand it is speaking about a big country with a great history,” he added.

Five people died and thousands were wounded during a month of protests in Istanbul and other Turkish cities which began peacefully in late May over plans to redevelop an Istanbul park but spiraled into a broader show of defiance against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

During his decade in power, Erdogan has managed to curb the power of the once-mighty Turkish military, which had ousted four elected governments since 1960.

Reporting by Yasmine Saleh, editing by Gareth Jones

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