LATEST: Egypt — Nobel Prize Winner Karman Denied Entry at Airport
June’s nation-wide protests against his Government might have eased, but Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is still lashing out at the demonstrations, calling them “attempts to make an Egypt out of Turkey”.
This spring’s mass protests were sparked by Government plans to re-develop Gezi Park, one of the last green spaces in Istanbul, and a police crackdown on a sit-in in nearby Taksim Square. Eventually security forces were able to break up the demonstrations in Istanbul and across Turkey, and detentions and shows of force have continue to suppress the opposition.
“Should we accept if some try to make an Egypt out of Turkey? Never. The people’s right in Egypt has been extorted,” Erdoğan said on Saturday during the opening ceremony of an Istanbul performance hall.
The Prime Minister also used the speech to criticize US Secretary of State John Kerry, who said on Friday that the Egyptian military was “restoring democracy”.
Erdogan declared, “If someone respects [the military takeover in Egypt], it is impossible for me as someone who believes in democracy to show him respect.”
However, the Prime Minister’s main theme was the legitimacy of his Government despite the June challenge, as he said his ruling party would accept the results of elections: “If the people tell us to leave, we will [bow down]. But if they tell us to stay, we will consider its trust as our honor and protect it until our last gasp.”
He asserted that he had the support of a quiet majority, “Nobody should ignore the people because they did not throw stones at the police. Nobody should ignore them because they do not run headlines or signs under dirty letters on international newspapers. This people ran its headline in the elections.”
Yemeni activist and Nobel Peace Prize Tawakul Karman has been denied entry into Egypt after she landed at Cairo airport “for security reasons”.
Karman, the first Arab woman to win the Nobel when given the prize in 2011, was ordered to fly on the same plane back to the Gulf.
The activist, a leading figure in the uprising against long-time Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, has called the military’s removal of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi “undemocratic”. She intended to visit the pro-Morsi sit-in at Rabaa El-Adewaya Square in a Cairo suburb.
Egyptian prosecutors have ordered the arrest of Refaa al-Tahtawi, head of office of deposed President Mohamed Morsi, and his deputy Asaad Mohamed Sheikha.
The two men are being held for 15 days, in relation to clashes that erupted near the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace in December during protests against Morsi.
Att least five people died in the fighting.
The leader of the Egyptian coup, head of armed forces Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, has met overnight with leaders from Islamist movements, amid continuing protests for deposed President Mohamed Morsi. to try and resolve the crisis pitting supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi against the country’s new rulers.
El-Sissi “met with several representatives of the Islamist movements…and stressed that there are opportunities for a peaceful solution to the crisis provided all sides reject violence”, Army spokesman Colonel Ahmed Aly said.
Aly did not name the Islamist leaders.
A correspondent for Al Jazeera said the Muslim Brotherhood — the main force behind the Morsi Government — was not represented at the meeting, but other Islamist movements were.
Tribesmen blew up Yemen’s main oil export pipeline late Saturday, halting the flow of crude.
The pipeline had resumed the flow of oil last week after another attack, following repairs that took several days.
The pipeline, when operating normally, pumps about 125,000 barrels per day.
Tens of thousands of Tunisians have rallied for the coalition government in the capital Tunis.
The crowd in Kasbah Square shouted “No to coups, yes to elections” in support of the Government, led by the moderate Islamist party Ennahda.
The party had called on supporters to push back against a week of mass protests calling for the government’s removal in favor of a technocratic administration.
Demonstrations have been fostered by last month’s assassination of leftist politician Mohammed Brahmi, the second party leader killed in six months.
The opposition, which has been rallying daily, is planning a march on Sunday.
Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Ali Larayedh told a press conference, “Tunisia is in need of national unity….I call for calm so that the army and security forces can combat terrorism and not waste its efforts on protests.”
The Ministry of Interior said that security forces foiled an attempted assassination on Friday of a prominent politician in the coastal town of Sousse.
The ministry said two “dangerous terrorists” were arrested for suspected involvement in the attempt. A third suspect was still on the run after trading machine gun fire with security forces, the Ministry said.