Turkish opposition leader calls on Egypt to stop political executions

By Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA (AA) – The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party called on the Egyptian government Tuesday to stop executions of members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

"Political execution is not correct. We have always opposed political executions, and we will continue to oppose them. I hope there will be no political executions in Egypt," Kemal Kilicdaroglu, president of the Republican People's Party (CHP), told his party's parliamentary group.

Egypt’s highest civilian court on June 14 upheld the death sentences of 12 Muslim Brotherhood members, including senior leaders Mohamed al-Beltagy, Safwat Hegazy, Abdel-Rahman el-Bar, former minister Osama Yassin and Ahmed Aref.

On Aug. 14, 2013, the army and police dispersed two sit-in protests in Cairo held by supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, according to local reports.

According to Egypt’s official National Council for Human Rights, 632 people were killed, including eight police officers, when security forces violently dispersed the pro-Morsi protests in two squares — Rabaa al-Adawiya in Nasr City, Cairo and al-Nahda square in Giza.

International rights groups, however, said the number of deaths was much higher.

Kilicdaroglu reiterated that some political executions had also been carried out in Turkey in the past, adding a prime minister and two ministers were executed in 1961.

"What has happened? We are all sad. Now we build airports for the people we hang, we give their names to universities and schools," he said.

Former Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes was arrested along with leading Democratic Party (DP) members including ministers Fatin Rustu Zorlu and Hasan Polatkan following a military coup on May 27, 1960. They were accused of violating the constitution as well as embezzling money from state funds and were put on trial by a military court on the island of Yassiada, which is seen as the symbol of the sorrows of Turkish democracy, located in the Sea of Marmara to the southeast of Istanbul.

Following the court's verdict, Menderes was hanged along with Zorlu and Polatkan on the island of Imrali in the Sea of Marmara after a year-long trial.