Thousands of pro-Mursi protesters take to Turkey's streets

ISTANBUL (AFP) - Thousands of supporters of Egypt's ousted leader Mohamed Mursi took to the streets in Turkey on Saturday to denounce "massacres" of his loyalists.

Some 4,000 people gathered at a mosque in Istanbul shouting "Down with (army chief Abdel Fattah) al-Sisi" and "Mursi in power!", an AFP photographer reported.

Carrying Egyptian flags, the protesters also implored the Muslim world to "help the Egyptian people who are being massacred".

In the central Turkish city of Konya, nearly 10,000 people turned out in support of Mr Mursi and his embattled loyalists, according to the Dogan news agency.

Turkey, which backs Mr Mursi, has hardened its tone towards Egypt, recalling its ambassador to Cairo over the violent crackdown, prompting a tit-for-tat move by Egypt.

Daily pro-Mursi demonstrations have since taken place in Turkey.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who heads the Islamic-rooted ruling party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), had forged a close alliance with Mr Mursi since he was elected in Egypt's first free election in June 2012.