Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag and the Freedom and Justice Party (AKP) Deputy Chairman Huseyin Celik have harshly criticized Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary-general of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) because of his silence over the Egyptian coup, asking him to resign.
Bozdag said, “If I were the secretary-general of the OIC, I would have invited Islamic countries to cooperate. If they don’t respond I would say ‘I can’t bear the indignity of an Islamic cooperation body remaining silent in face of such barbarity,’ and resign.”
Celik said, ‘’If the OIC doesn’t raise its voice on days like these, when will it? Is your influence in that organization proportional to your money? Or is the source of money going to General [Abdel Fattah] al-Sisi and keeping OIC silent one and the same? If Denmark and Holland have louder voices than the OIC, what is this all about?”
Ihsanoglu said via Twitter, “Our record of what we have done since we took over is known. Those who cannot follow this express divergent opinions. Yesterday the UN Security Council convened because three of its members called for it. Until now none of our members have officially asked for such a meeting.”
Does anyone even know what he does?
Celik asked on Twitter: “Does anyone know what Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary-general of the OIC does for work? That person after the coup had blamed Morsi. When I recall the efforts our president and prime minister made to have Dr. Ihsanoglu elected as the OIC secretary-general, I can only think what a waste it was.”
Deputy Prime Minister Bozdag said yesterday on Kanal 24 Television, “For the OIC to remain silent about the atrocities in Egypt is unacceptable. The OIC is not an organization to defend interests of monarchs but of Islam.”
The need for a response
Ihsanoglu in a Twitter message said he felt a need to respond in view of increasing criticism. He repeated the points he made in an interview with NTV channel. He said, “It is necessary to repeat that the OIC with 57 members does not only mean its secretary-general. The OIC’s attitude is determined by policies jointly formulated by its member states.”
What else did Ihsanoglu say in his NTV appearance?
"What is happening in Egypt is savagery. Such atrocities cannot be accepted. As a person who was born and grew up in Egypt, my sentiments are far deeper than a normal Turkish citizen. I know Egypt intimately and love it. As someone who knows the historical ties of the two countries, my sorrow exceeds that of others.
"When events broke out in Egypt in 2011, our organization was ahead of everybody else in making a statement. Yesterday, the Security Council [of the UN] convened by request of France, Britain and Australia to issue a statement. The declaration we issued a day after the events started is not lagging behind the statement issued by the Security Council yesterday.
"Some of our citizens and friends want us to say more. But as someone occupying such a position, unless there is a commonly accepted decision I have to wait for a consensus among states and activation of mechanisms.
"When they set up the new government, we conveyed our demand that President Morsi should be freed. How can people criticize us and reach conclusions without first looking at all the events and our statements? I think it is useful to repeat that the OIC, with its 57 members, is not only [represented by] its secretary-general. The OIC’s attitude can only emerge as result of policies jointly formulated by member states."
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