Russia, Turkey criticize Egyptian democracy
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Russia, Turkey criticize Egyptian democracy

Turkish officials call Morsi’s ousting anti-democratic, ‘backward’; Russian lawmaker suggests democracy may not come easily to non-Western states

Haviv Rettig Gur is The Times of Israel's senior analyst.

A military helicopter files over the presidential palace as opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi celebrate, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3 (photo credit: AP/Khalil Hamra)
A military helicopter files over the presidential palace as opponents of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi celebrate, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3 (photo credit: AP/Khalil Hamra)

The removal of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi from power demonstrates that democracy does not take hold easily, particularly in non-Western states, an influential Russian parliamentarian close to the Kremlin said on Thursday.

“The events in Egypt show that there is no quick and peaceful transition from authoritarian regimes to democratic politics,” Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov said, according to AFP.

“This means that democracy does not work as a panacea, especially in countries that are not part of the Western world,” he said.

Hüseyin Çelik, spokesman for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, was more emphatic, saying Morsi’s ousting was also a sign of “backwardness.”

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Çelik insisted Morsi had “deservedly won by his own efforts the elections organized by a bureaucracy inherited from Hosni Mubarak’s era and that took weeks to come to a conclusion,” Hurriyet Daily News reported.

“This coup has also received foreign support. Some Western countries have not accepted Muslim Brotherhood’s arrival to power. They have mobilized the streets, then issued a memorandum, and are now staging the coup,” Çelik said.

Çelik called on the sides to avoid bloodshed. “Can Morsi resist against tanks and artillery cannon? We don’t know that. If Morsi’s supporters fight with his opponents, blood will be spilled. We will not approve that.”

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ also chastised the military for defying democratic elections.

“The ballot box is the only way to change the governments in democracies,” Bozdağ said.

Turkey’s EU Minister Egemen Bağış concurred. “We should appreciate Morsi’s position against coup supporters and object to any kind of coup anywhere,” he said.

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