Egypt, ‘civilian coup’ and liberal tragedy!
Analyzing the Egyptian political timeline through Turkey’s political calendar gives us a wider perspective. Egypt has experienced a breaking point in its recent history when Hosni Mubarak, whose bio-political time was up, quietly stepped down. The Egyptian establishment did not understand this stepping down as a systemic change. Regional and international focus points also assumed a similar stance.
What mattered was that there was an established order in Egypt that could reign in uncontrolled developments. One of those uncontrolled developments that needed to be reigned in was the Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) shot at power. Clearly, the Brotherhood would win the elections. This was not all that problematic or risky. Egypt could very well be governed under the tutelage regime of the military-judiciary-police while the MB was in government. An incumbent Freedom and Justice Party would not change the tutelage equation all that much, anyway. The Turkish model attested to that. The multi-party democratic political life Turkey transitioned into in the first half of the last century had in fact operated under the tutelage of direct appointees until the 2010 constitutional referendum. Turkey was governed by 60 different administrations in 60 years and the establishment had maintained its existence. Egypt could do it too!
There are as many differences between the Egyptian and Turkish establishments as there are similarities. The most important difference is that the Egyptian establishment does not possess a similar ideology to Turkey, or possess any ideology at all. The lifestyles of the Muslim majority in Egypt are unprecedentedly homogenized. The lifestyle debates triggered by the self-colonization disease caused by Kemalism in Turkey do not exist in Egypt. The army is the most organic product of this homogenization. The homogenization of Egyptian society was a natural result of the army-people identification produced ideologically by the Israel factor and socio-economically by the industrial military complex. It was through this homogenized society that the Brotherhood walked to power. It is not possible to explain a “movement” receiving 50 percent of the votes in a country of Egypt’s size, otherwise.
Last year a first was experienced in Turkey. When the four highest ranking commanders of the Turkish Armed Forces could not get Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to comply with their demands they resigned. For the first time in history, the military officials resigned at an impasse and not the elected civil incumbents.
Mohamed Morsi, by forcing the top names of the SCAF to resign, squeezed decades of the Turkish political calendar into a single month. From now on, in its battle against the tutelage regime he will struggle not only to come to power but also be in power. In this process, the self-proclaimed liberals and Western observers who are already calling for a “civil coup” will prove to be as much an obstacle to Egypt as the tutelage regime itself. Those who rejoiced at the disbanding of the Parliament are now accusing Morsi of carrying out a coup against the military. What a democracy! And a reminder to Egyptians: We already watched this movie in Turkey!