Erdogan calls for a secular Egypt

Al-Masry Al-Youm reports:

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday called on Egyptians to adopt a secular constitution, noting that secularism does not mean renouncing religion.

A secular state respects all religions, Erdogan said in an interview with the private satellite TV channel Dream before heading to Egypt for a two-day visit.

“Do not be wary of secularism. I hope there will be a secular state in Egypt,” Erdogan said.

He stressed that people have the right to choose whether or not to be religious, adding that he is a Muslim prime minister for a secular state.

Erdogan said Egypt needs to meet some requirements for establishing a modern state, including better management of human resources, more attention to education, improved management of financial resources and eliminating corruption.

Today’s Zaman reports:

Erdoğan, visiting Egypt at the start of a North Africa tour, said Israel continued taking steps that undermine its own legitimacy, noting that it killed nine Turks on an aid ship trying to break the blockade of Gaza last year and more recently shot dead five Egyptian soldiers.

He reiterated that a UN report defending the Israeli blockade of Gaza as legal was “null and void” for Turkey and insisted that Turkey’s relations with Israel will not return to normal unless Israel apologizes for the 2010 raid, pay compensation for families of the victims and lifts the blockade of Gaza.

“Turkey does not recognize the Gaza blockade,” Erdoğan said, reiterating that Turkey will take measures to ensure freedom of navigation in the eastern Mediterranean and vowed that Turkey will press for an International Court of Justice review of the blockade.

“States, just like individuals, have to pay the price for murders, for acts of terrorism they committed so that we can live in a more just world,” he said.

The Turkish prime minister also said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a “matter of humanity” and added that the current status quo can no longer be maintained. He vowed support for Palestinian efforts for recognition at the UN General Assembly. “Our Palestinian brothers should be able to have their own state. It is time for the flag of Palestine to fly at the UN,” he said, calling on the Arab League countries to support the Palestinian bid.

The paper also reports:

Turkey’s Military Electronics Industry (ASELSAN) has produced a new identification friend or foe (IFF) system for Turkish jet fighters, warships and submarines and the new software, contrary to the older, US-made version, does not automatically identify Israeli planes and ships as friends, a news report said on Tuesday.

The new IFF has already been installed in Turkish F-16s and is expected to be installed in all Navy ships and submarines, the report, published in Turkish daily Star, said. It will be fully operational when it is installed in all military planes, warships and submarines.

The F-16 jet fighters, purchased from the US, came with pre-installed IFF software that automatically identifies Israeli fighters and warships as friends, disabling Turkish F-16s from targeting Israeli planes or ships. ASELSAN-made IFF will allow Turkish military commanders to identify friends and foes on the basis of national considerations.

Turkey was unable to make modifications to the friend or foe identification codes in US-made F-16s, while Israel was given a different version of the software allowing Israeli authorities to make modifications. Israel was also authorized to view the version given to Turkey, according to Star.

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2 thoughts on “Erdogan calls for a secular Egypt

  1. Christopher Hoare

    One hopes that other nations note that aquiring US armaments dictates their political policies. The world is full of manufacturers of war materiel, and while that of other nations may not be hyped as much as the American, their products are every bit as effective. Of course, the other manufacturers may not have access to such lavish bribes for the officers in their acquisition procedures as the Americans have typically paid (for at least as long as the Luftwaffe procured the F-104G Widow Makers in the 60s.)

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