Erdoğan congratulates Egypt's Morsi on constitution victory
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R) shakes hands with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi after a news conference in Ankara on Sept. 30. (Photo: AA, Murat Kaynak)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has congratulated Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi as a constitution he backed received a "yes" majority in a final round of voting on a referendum that saw a low voter turnout.
Erdoğan told Morsi in a telephone conversation Sunday night that he hopes the constitution will bring benefits to an Egypt gripped by political turmoil since the ouster of former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak two years ago.
Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most powerful political organization in the post-Mubarak era, claimed early Sunday that the charter it had backed was approved in the two-stage vote with a 64 percent "yes" vote overall. Though official results will not be announced until Monday, there is little doubt they will confirm the passage.
Once the official result is out, Morsi is expected to call for a new election of parliament's lawmaking lower house within two months.
Morsi thanked Erdoğan for his congratulations and said the referendum is a significant step for the stability of Egypt.
Critics say the new constitution does not sufficiently protect the rights of women and minority groups and empowers Muslim clerics by giving them a say over legislation.