Turkey denounces Kerry remarks praising army for 'restoring democracy'

Turkey denounces Kerry remarks praising army for 'restoring democracy'

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag has denounced US Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks saying that Egypt's military was "restoring democracy" when it ousted elected President Mohammed Morsi last month. Today`s Zaman reported

Commenting on Kerry's words on Egypt, Bozdag asked on Twitter: "Has the military built democracy in the US or European countries? Coups won't bring democracy; in fact they will kill and destroy the democratic paths. Just like it did in Egypt."

Kerry said the removal of Morsi was at the request of "millions and millions of people." His remarks came as police prepared to disperse two pro-Morsi sit-ins in the capital Cairo on Thursday. Washington has refused to describe Morsi's removal as a "coup." Doing so would require the US government to cut off its estimated $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt. Correspondents say Kerry's latest comments will be seen in Egypt as supportive of the interim government.

Morsi supporters defy police warnings to disperse

Egypt's military-backed government offered protection Thursday to supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi who end their two sit-ins - widely seen as a first step toward dispersing the vigils on opposite sides of Cairo.

But the protesters responded defiantly: "Over our dead bodies!" The standoff underscored the ongoing political crisis since the armed forces toppled Egypt's first democratically elected leader on July 3: thousands in the streets demanding Morsi's reinstatement, a government unable to exert its authority, and recurrent violence that has killed more than 260 people.

Rights groups, activists and politicians from rival camps, fearful of more bloodshed, tried to ward off any use of force, including a suggestion of putting a human chain around the protest sites.

International pressure grew for the interim government to release Morsi and create a process that includes his Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest political faction, which refuses to deal with the new authorities.

Despite a government warning that it would disperse the vigils, the Brotherhood and its supporters announced plans to organize new mass marches Friday, dubbed "Egypt Against the Coup."

Organizers of the sit-ins outside the Rabaah al-Adawiya Mosque in eastern Cairo and a smaller one near Cairo University's main campus in Giza say the protests are signs of the enduring support for the once-dominant Muslim Brotherhood.

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