I don't believe Morsi's was normal death: Erdogan

By Cigdem Alyanak and Zehra Nur Duz

ISTANBUL (AA) – Turkey's president attended a funeral prayer in absentia on Tuesday for Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi, expressing suspicion on his demise.

"Whether it was a normal death, or there were some other elements involved, this [Morsi's death] was suspicious. Personally, I do not believe that it was a normal death," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, speaking after the funeral prayer in Istanbul’s Fatih Mosque.

Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, died Monday during a court appearance.

– Funeral prayers in absentia in Turkish capital

On Tuesday, funeral prayers for Morsi were held in mosques across Turkey, including near the Egyptian Embassy in the capital Ankara.

Civil society activists, citizens and Muslims from Egypt, Ethiopia, Somalia, Palestine, Syria and the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region in China attended the gatherings organized by various non-governmental organizations to pay homage to late president.

Participants carried the Rabia sign and placards denouncing the Egyptian government and photos of Morsi.

Placards bore the slogans, "Coups will be defeated, Islamic movement will win", "The Islamic cause is immortal" and "Raise your voice for humanity".

"Today we have won a martyr in the path of God," an Egyptian university student Mumin Esref told reporters on behalf of the various organizations after the funeral prayer.

"Tyrants buried him quietly in the early hours of the morning, but he won," Esref said.

"The lament of underdogs who were martyred and enslaved in Egyptian dungeons will become an army and once again topple the coup authorities in Egypt."

Trade unions and civil society organizations were also present in the gatherings.

Morsi, a leading member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, won Egypt's first free presidential election in 2012.

After only a year in office, however, he was ousted and imprisoned in a bloody military coup led by then-Defense Minister and current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

At the time of his death, Morsi faced a host of legal charges, which he, along with numerous human rights groups and independent observers, said were politically motivated.