Tunisia summons Turkish ambassador in response to Erdogan’s comments

Tunisia summons Turkish ambassador in response to Erdogan’s comments

Tunisia summoned the Turkish ambassador to Tunis over comments by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticizing the dissolution of the Tunisian parliament.

Erdogan said sacking the parliament was contrary to “the will of the Tunisian people” and a “smear to democracy.”

The Tunisian presidency rejected this as “an unacceptable meddling in Tunisia’s domestic affairs.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tuesday voiced “deep astonishment” at Turkish President’s remarks about the situation in Tunisia, denouncing the remarks as “unacceptable interference in Tunisia’s internal affairs.”

The foreign department reaffirmed Tunisia’s commitment to “the independence of its national decision,” and firmly rejected any “attempt to meddle in the country’s sovereignty and in the choices of its people or to question its irreversible democratic process.”

Moderate Islamist party Ennahda is the largest party in parliament. Its leaders have close ties with Erdogan’s AKP.

President Kais Saied reinforced his power grab by sacking the Parliament last week, eight months after he suspended it, a decision described by critics as a major setback for Tunisia’s nascent democracy.

The Tunisian president has been criticized by western countries and human rights NGOs for his autocratic decisions and the crackdown on dissent.

The repression at home came at a context Tunisia brings itself closer to other military-dominated authoritarian regimes such as neighboring Algeria, which has no interest in having a democratic neighbor.

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