The Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) ordered Turkish mosques to hold symbolic funeral prayers for Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi, who died of a heart attack on Monday after collapsing at a court hearing, the pro-government Sabah daily reported.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a close ally of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, called the late president a “martyr” and accused Western powers of remaining silent over his prosecution.
“Don’t forget, in Sunday’s election there are those who threaten us with the fate of Morsi on the one hand, and those who will walk with justice on the other,” Erdoğan said at a campaign rally for an upcoming mayoral election in İstanbul.
The 67-year-old Morsi had been in jail since the army commanded by Egypt’s now president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled him in 2013 after barely a year in power following mass protests against his rule, according to Reuters.
Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members who fled Egypt after al-Sisi’s coup d’état also held symbolic funerals at mosques in İstanbul and Ankara.
Members of a crowd in Ankara chanted, “Murderer Sisi, martyr Morsi,” and held up banners reading “Putschists will be defeated,” a reference to Morsi’s ouster, Reuters reported.
Another several hundred people also attended a symbolic funeral in İstanbul’s conservative district of Fatih, holding pictures of Morsi and chanting “God is Greatest.”