What Morsi’s Death Reveals About Turkey’s Own Moral Contradictions

Morsi’s sudden death at a courtroom in Cairo has sent shockwaves across the world, plunging Egypt into uncertainty and revealing perils of mistreatment of key figures in prison.

Abdullah Ayasun


Mohammad Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, appears at a court hearing. He died on Monday.

Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohammad Morsi suddenly fell to the ground at a courtroom in Cairo on Monday. The authorities soon declared him dead and announced a nation-wide alarm against potential unrest over the death of the former president toppled after a bloody military takeover in 2013.

The whole world was, quite understandably, rattled by the news of Morsi’s death, something that could plunge the Arab World’s most populous country into a state of uncertainty. The growing resentment on the part of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), especially after a clampdown on tens of thousands of its members since 2013, may eventually boil over. What kind of future beckons is beyond the grasp of any political sage or expert but it need not any great prudence to foresee hard times ahead.

The former president’s health has been deteriorating for quite some time due to subtle methods of mistreatment, inhumane solitary confinement and authorities’ denial of access to medical treatment. There were alarming signs there long before his death.

The Middle East Eye reported this last year:

“Mohamed Morsi is held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, sleeps on a cement floor, and has been permitted to see his family once in the past three years, a panel of British parliamentarians and international lawyers has found.”

After the news broke out on Monday, a senior HRW official told The New York Times:

“I think there is a very strong case to be made that this was criminal negligence, deliberate malfeasance in providing Morsi basic prisoner rights,” Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director for the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch, said Monday. “He was very obviously singled out for mistreatment.”

She also tweeted that the HRW was about to complete an exhaustive and comprehensive report about Morsi’s worsening health. But, as it seems…



Abdullah Ayasun

Boston-based journalist and writer. Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. 2023 WHCA Scholar. On art, culture, politics and everything in between. X: @abyasun