ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday (Jun 17) blamed Egypt's "tyrants" for the death of former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi who died in a Cairo hospital after fainting during a court session.
"History will never forget those tyrants who led to his death by putting him in jail and threatening him with execution," Erdogan, a close ally of Morsi, said in a televised speech in Istanbul.
Relations between Turkey and Egypt have been virtually non-existent since the Egyptian military, then led by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in 2013 ousted Islamist president Morsi. Sisi has since become president.
Erdogan has strongly denounced Morsi's ouster as a "coup" and called for the release of Muslim Brotherhood prisoners in Egypt.
The Turkish leader described Morsi's death as a "symbol of persecution targeting him and his people" and called the ex-president as a "martyr".
"In our eyes, Morsi is a martyr who lost his life for the sake of a case he believed in," he said.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said: "The coup moved him (Morsi) away from the power but his memory will not be erased."
In an earlier comment, Erdogan took aim at Sisi, calling him a "tyrant" who took power in a "coup" and who has trampled on democracy.
The West has remained silent," Erdogan said, accusing European Union member states of turning a blind eye to executions in Egypt.