TURKEY

I don't believe Morsi's was normal death: President Erdoğan

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses mourners as he attends a symbolic funeral cerenomy for the former Egyptian president on June 18,2019 at Fatih mosque in Istanbul (AFP photo)

Turkey's president attended a funeral prayer in absentia Tuesday for ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi where he expressed suspicion about his death.

"Whether it was a normal death, or there were some other elements involved, this was suspicious," said Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after the funeral prayer at Fatih Mosque in Istanbul. "Personally, I do not believe that it was a normal death."

Morsi, Egypt's first democratically-elected president, died Monday during a court appearance.

Funeral prayers in absentia across Turkey

Funeral prayers were held in mosques across Turkey, including near the Egyptian Embassy in the capital Ankara.

Civil society activists, citizens and Muslims from Egypt, Ethiopia, Somalia, Palestine, Syria and the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region in China attended the gathering in Ankara, which was organized by various non-governmental organizations to pay homage to the late leader.

Participants carried the Rabia sign and placards denouncing the Egyptian government and photos of Morsi.

Placards bore slogans that included, "Coups will be defeated, Islamic movement will win", "The Islamic cause is immortal" and "Raise your voice for humanity".

"Today we have won a martyr in the path of God," an Egyptian university student Mumin Esref told reporters on behalf of the various organizations after the prayer.

"Tyrants buried him quietly in the early hours of the morning, but he won," Esref said. "The lament of underdogs who were martyred and enslaved in Egyptian dungeons will become an army and once again topple the coup authorities in Egypt."

Trade unions and civil society organizations were also present at the gathering.

In addition to Ankara, a number of prayers for Morsi were conducted at the four corners of Turkey including Istanbul, the Mediterranean province of Antalya and eastern Van province.

Morsi, a leading member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, won Egypt's first free presidential election in 2012.

After only a year in office, however, he was ousted and imprisoned in a bloody military coup led by then-Defense Minister and current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

At the time of his death, Morsi faced a host of legal charges, which he, along with numerous human rights groups and independent observers, said were politically motivated.

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