Turkey’s Erdogan Cuts US Trip Short without Attending Muhammad Ali Burial


photo datée des années 60 de l'ancien champion du monde de boxe dans la catégorie des poids lourds, Mohammed Ali (Cassius Clay). Mohammed Ali devint champion olympique des poids mi-lourds en 1960 puis champion du monde poids lourds pour la première fois en février 1964 contre Sonny Liston. Picture dated from the 60's of the U.S. boxing champion Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), who got the Olympic middle heavyweight gold meadal in 1960 in Rome, aged 18, and got the professional world heavyweight title for the first time in February 1964 against Sonny Liston. (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (Dogan News Agency) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cut short a trip on June 9 to the United States, where he had gone to attend the funeral ceremony of boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

According to information from presidential sources, however, Erdogan and other government representatives, decided to depart for Turkey without participating in the full funeral ceremony for the late boxer in Louisville, Kentucky.

Erdogan reportedly attempted to a put a piece of cloth from the Kaaba on Ali’s coffin during the funeral prayers but was refused permission to do so.

But according to another report, the president and Diyanet head Mehmet Görmez were rejected when they asked to read a piece from the Quran, which led the president to cut his program short.

Meanwhile, a short quarrel also erupted between U.S. secret service officials and Turkish presidential body guards, reportedly because a secret service official wanted to stand in the same place as presidential bodyguards as Erdogan was getting into his car.

Before arriving in the U.S., funeral organizers had removed Erdogan from the list of speakers on the grounds that there would not be sufficient time.

Former world heavyweight champion Ali, whose record-setting boxing career, flair for showmanship and political stands made him one of the best-known figures of the 20th century, died on June 3 aged 74.

He was laid to rest on June 10.