Europe

Turkey's Erdogan, in US for Ali's funeral, cuts trip short

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, second right, Mehmet Gormez, the head of Turkey's Religious Affairs, second left, and Berat Albayrak, Turkish Energy Minister and son-in-law of Erdogan, left, attend Muhammad Ali's Jenazah, a traditional Muslim service, in Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky, USA, Thursday, June 9, 2016.  Officials say Turkey's president, who flew to the United States to attend the funeral of Muhammad Ali, is cutting short his visit and returning home, according to Private Dogan news agency, which reported that the Turkish leader was upset that funeral organizers rejected his request to lay a piece from the cloth covering the Kaaba, in Mecca, on Ali's coffin. (Kayhan Ozer, Presidential Press Service/Pool via AP)

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, second right, Mehmet Gormez, the head of Turkey's Religious Affairs, second left, and Berat Albayrak, Turkish Energy Minister and son-in-law of Erdogan, left, attend Muhammad Ali's Jenazah, a traditional Muslim service, in Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky, USA, Thursday, June 9, 2016. Officials say Turkey's president, who flew to the United States to attend the funeral of Muhammad Ali, is cutting short his visit and returning home, according to Private Dogan news agency, which reported that the Turkish leader was upset that funeral organizers rejected his request to lay a piece from the cloth covering the Kaaba, in Mecca, on Ali's coffin. (Kayhan Ozer, Presidential Press Service/Pool via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine Erdogan visit Muhammad Ali Museum in Louisville, Ky, USA, Thursday, June 9, 2016.  Officials say Turkey's president, who flew to the United States to attend the funeral of Muhammad Ali, is cutting short his visit and returning home. According to Private Dogan news agency the Turkish leader was upset that funeral organizers rejected his request to lay a piece from the cloth covering the Kaaba, in Mecca, on Ali's coffin.(Kayhan Ozer, Presidential Press Service/Pool via AP)

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine Erdogan visit Muhammad Ali Museum in Louisville, Ky, USA, Thursday, June 9, 2016. Officials say Turkey's president, who flew to the United States to attend the funeral of Muhammad Ali, is cutting short his visit and returning home. According to Private Dogan news agency the Turkish leader was upset that funeral organizers rejected his request to lay a piece from the cloth covering the Kaaba, in Mecca, on Ali's coffin.(Kayhan Ozer, Presidential Press Service/Pool via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Flowers pile up on the hearse carrying Muhammad Ali as spectators watch his funeral procession enter Cave Hill Cemetery, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. Ali died last Friday at 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    Flowers pile up on the hearse carrying Muhammad Ali as spectators watch his funeral procession enter Cave Hill Cemetery, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. Ali died last Friday at 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)  (The Associated Press)

Officials say Turkey's president, who flew to the United States to attend the funeral of Muhammad Ali, is cutting short his visit and returning home.

His office on Friday did not give an explanation as to why Recep Tayyip Erdogan was returning early.

Private Dogan news agency reported that the Turkish leader was upset that funeral organizers rejected his request to lay a piece from the cloth covering the Kaaba, in Mecca, on Ali's coffin. They reportedly also denied a request for Turkey's top cleric to read from the Quran.

Erdogan attended a prayer ceremony for Ali on Thursday but would not take part in Friday's funeral.

Erdogan and Jordan's King Abdullah were scheduled to speak at the funeral but lost their spots when two other speakers were added later.