Ankara - Turkey on Thursday said the military intervention that ousted Egypt's Islamist president Mohammed Morsi did not reflect the people's will and urged the country to "return to democracy".
Turkey's Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) government - which grappled with its own mass anti-government demonstrations last month - had established friendly ties with Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood movement.
"The power change in Egypt was not a result of the will of the people. The change was not in compliance with democracy and law," Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said in Ankara.
"In all democratic countries, elections are the only way to come to power," he said.
Egypt's army on Wednesday ousted and detained the country's first democratically elected president in an abrupt end to his first year in office after days of bloodshed and protesters calling for his resignation.
"Everyone... who believes in democracy should naturally oppose the way this power change happened because a situation that cannot be accepted by democratic people has emerged in Egypt," said Bozdag.
Call for release of leaders
He added that he hoped "Egypt would return to democracy, to a structure where the will of people prevails again".
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters in Istanbul that an elected leadership's removal from power through "illegitimate means" was "unacceptable" and called for free and fair elections.
"This intervention should not overshadow the democratic gains of the January 25 revolution," he said, warning that an interruption of the democratic process would be a loss for all Egyptian people.
He also called for the immediate release of detained Egyptian political leaders. Security forces in Egypt have begun arresting leading figures in the Muslim Brotherhood, with state media reporting that 300 warrants had been issued.
Davutoglu held telephone conversations with his US, German, French, British and Qatari counterparts late on Wednesday ahead of the military intervention, a diplomatic source said.
Turkish media reported that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had cut short a holiday and was due to chair a mini-summit later in the day to discuss the latest developments in Egypt.