“Have you learned that who are those saying democracy is not all about ballot boxes? It is about ballot boxes when they like and it is not when they do not. And when I said this, a response comes from the White House. I was saddened by this. Why? Because the White House was not the interlocutor here. So, what is to the White House? The White House should not have said this. If there was someone to speak, it should have been Israel,” Erdoğan said on Saturday.
Erdoğan, who has become one of the fiercest critics of the Egyptian army’s removal of Morsi, accused Israel of having a role in Egypt’s coup, adding that the Turkish government has evidence to prove Israel’s hand in it.
“What is said about Egypt? That democracy is not the ballot box. Who is behind this? Israel is. We have the evidence in our hands,” Erdoğan told the members of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in Ankara on Tuesday. “That’s exactly what happened.”
The evidence Erdoğan gave for the alleged Israeli involvement was a meeting in France before elections in Egypt in 2011 between an Israeli justice minister and an unnamed intellectual whom he quoted as saying the Muslim Brotherhood would not be in power even if it wins the elections.
“We strongly condemn the statements that were made by Prime Minister Erdoğan today. Suggesting that Israel is somehow responsible for the recent events in Egypt is offensive, unsubstantiated and wrong,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in a briefing on Tuesday.
The evidence Erdoğan was referring to was a video of a press conference by Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and French philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Levy.
A video of the two, dating back to 2011, shows Levy saying: “If the Muslim Brotherhood arrives in Egypt, I will not say democracy wants it, so let democracy progress. Democracy is not only elections, it is also values.”
Pressed further as to whether he would urge Egypt’s military to intervene against the Muslim Brotherhood, Levy says: “I will urge the prevention of them coming to power, but by all sorts of means.”