Erdogan refuses to speak to Egypt’s ElBaradei

Updated 18 July 2013

Erdogan refuses to speak to Egypt’s ElBaradei

ISTANBUL: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused to speak to Egypt’s new Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, the latest broadside in a spat that erupted after the military coup in the Arab world’s most populous country.
Erdogan infuriated Egypt’s interim leaders after he voiced support for ousted Islamist president Muhammad Mursi.
“How could I speak to you? You were not elected, you were appointed by the orchestrators of a coup,” he said on Wednesday, addressing ElBaradei in remarks carried on CNN-Turk’s website.
ElBaradei, a prominent liberal and former head of the UN nuclear watchdog, was sworn in on Sunday as part of a new cabinet appointed after the July 3 military overthrow of Mursi.
Erdogan, leader of the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), had branded the coup as an “enemy of democracy” and said Mursi was the only legitimate president of Egypt.
He said he had received a letter from ElBaradei seeking a telephone conversation after his comments.
“They don’t like what we are saying; they are uncomfortable with it,” Erdogan said. “They said certain comments were made without full knowledge of the facts.”
The interim government in Cairo on Tuesday voiced “strong resentment” at Erdogan’s comments about the overthrow of Mursi, Egypt’s first freely elected president.
Relations between Turkey and Egypt had strengthened during Mursi’s year in power.


‘Made-in-Gaza’ device fights coronavirus spread

Updated 4 min 37 sec ago

‘Made-in-Gaza’ device fights coronavirus spread

  • Innovation Makers has sold dozens of machines to supermarkets, bakeries and restaurants

GAZA CITY: Entering a Gaza City restaurant, customers are welcomed by a multi-tasking disinfection machine designed by a Palestinian businesswoman to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the crisis-hit enclave.
Spraying hand sanitizer while taking the person’s temperature, the 2-meter-high device offers an all-in-one disinfection experience.
If the body temperature is too high, a red signal will light up. Otherwise the restaurant door opens automatically to allow the customer in.
“In Gaza, we have basic devices imported from abroad to measure temperatures, and others to disinfect, but our devices combine multiple technologies in one,” creator Heba Al-Hindi told AFP.
The densely populated Palestinian coastal enclave, under an Israeli-enforced blockade since 2007, was initially largely spared by Covid-19 when the pandemic broke out.
But dire economic conditions, a poor health care system and chronic electricity shortages, partly caused by the blockade, made Gaza especially vulnerable to the virus.
Confirmed infections in the enclave have topped 5,440 with 31 deaths.
“When Covid-19 reached the Gaza Strip, I told myself I had to find a way to fight its spread,” said Hindi.
“Then came the idea of creating a sanitiser and I designed these smart machines.”
The 37-year-old mathematics graduate heads Innovation Makers, a company that has created eight anti-Covid products, including a blue and yellow robot-like machine to appeal to children.
She said the project makes money but that “our focus is not on the profit.”

HIGHLIGHT

Spraying hand sanitizer while taking the person’s temperature, the 2-meter-high device offers an all-in-one disinfection experience.

“We’re focusing on a Palestinian product and a Palestinian invention from within the siege in the Gaza Strip, to show this invention to the world.”
Innovation Makers has sold dozens of machines to supermarkets, bakeries and restaurants, for between $550 and $1,500 depending on the technology used.
The products have been patented by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Economy Ministry, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The company finds spare parts for the devices on the local market but is barred by Israel from exporting the “Made in Gaza” creations, slowing down Hindi’s ambitions.
Management at the Taboun restaurant is delighted with the disinfecting machines they bought.
“The device is remarkable,” said Matar Matar, hospitality manager at the Gaza eatery, adding that he found out about it on social media.
Customers are happy to see that “something new is being developed in Gaza,” he said.
Computer engineer Mohammad Natat, 23, said he was proud to be part of the team that created the machine.
“I had the opportunity to take part in this work and be creative in my field,” he said. “It was a huge chance to have some work.”
Around half of Gaza’s population is out of work, two-thirds of them young people, according to the World Bank, and more than two thirds of residents depend on humanitarian aid.