Turkey's Erdogan Slams Egyptian President's Ousting

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The situation in Egypt prompted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to cut his vacation short and gather key officials for a meeting at his office in Istanbul.

According to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, Erdogan summoned Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, Tourism Minister Omer Celik, National Intelligence Organization head and Erdogan's senior adviser Hakan Fiden, Deputy Chairman and spokesman of the Justice and Ruling Party, and a handful of other confidants.

Before the meeting, Davutoglu told reporters in Istanbul a military takeover and/or detention of elected government officials in Egypt is "unacceptable."

"The powers of Egypt's elected authorities should immediately be reinstated and a chaotic environment should be avoided," Davutoglu said.

"Whatever the reason is, it is unacceptable that a democratically elected government was overthrown by illegitimate means, even more, with a military coup," he said. "Leaders who come to power with open and transparent elections reflecting the will of the people can only be removed by elections, that is, the will of the nation."

Davutoglu reportedly spoke with American, German, French, British, and Qatari foreign ministers, as well as to Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr late Wednesday ahead of the military takeover.

Earlier this week, Besir Atalay, another deputy prime minister in Erodgan's government, apologized for blaming diaspora Jews for last month's countrywide protests, saying he did not intend "to offend Jewish citizens of Turkey or Jewish communities around the world."

Turkish security forces used water cannons and tear gas to disperse a peaceful sit-in in Istanbul's Gezi Park May 25, sparking nearly a month of nationwide protests against Erdogan's efforts to impose Islam on secular Turks.

Three protesters and one policeman were killed during the nearly month-long protests and 7,500 injured.

The government emerged relatively unscathed though some analysts believe Erdogan's popularity may have suffered.

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