Egypt and Turkey; a matter of style

Egypt and Turkey; a matter of style

What might be the difference between the mentality that managed to consider “marriage right” for nine-year-old or even younger girls and the mentality that sees in him the right to impose everything on everyone because “national will” would perhaps have wanted so?

For some, the problem in Egypt was a product of haste and inexperienced impositions of the Muslim Brotherhood on the rest of the society, including the military, judiciary, academia and of course secularists. Should the Muslim Brotherhood have had a European Union project like Turkey and Egyptian Islamists been clever enough to hide themselves behind EU objectives, things would have developed perhaps in a different and promising course. Did not the Turkish Islamists do that? Did not they hide behind EU criteria, demands and wishes for almost first four years in governance? Only after then and even after that in stages they put into implementation their agenda of raising a new vengeful and religious society. Right, at times like the criminalization of adultery discussion some nasty issues creating doubts in the society popped up, but each time with a firm pledge of advanced democracy the anxiety of Turks was successfully soothed.

While Turkey of 2002-2007 was receiving a standing ovation from Europe, the U.S. and the rest and the ruling Islamists were praised for being the “wrong guys doing great things,” Islamists in Egypt were carried away with their “revolutionary spirit.” They were such great victors that they tried to convert Egypt into some sort of a Sunni-Iran overnight. In less than a year a castrated military, commanded by a general appointed by the Islamists put on the boots and kicked the Islamists out of the game saying they may return to the game once new rules are put in place. What rules? Rules preventing a total takeover of the country by the Islamist psyche.

Since the military stepped in, Islamists and their supporters are demonstrating in Egypt and Turkey’s Islamists are giving them all our support while the world even could not condemn the coup in Cairo. As is said, in international diplomacy there are no eternal friends; only eternal interests. For Turkey’s Islamists, however, first comes ideological brotherhood, not national interests. Since the overthrow of Islamists in Egypt Turkish official Anatolia news agency and TRT TV have been reporting live, with provocative comments, heralding the right of Egyptians to demonstrate for advanced democracy.

In the same Turkey, however, demonstrators are horrendously gassed, mercilessly beaten up and soaked with water cannons because the Islamist government has an allergy against criticism. Saturday night in the heart of Istanbul, thousands of people demonstrated against the decision of the government not to allow people to go to Silivri where the verdict of the so-called Ergenekon trial – I should perhaps say thriller – will be read out today. The court is expected to deliver enforced life terms, life terms and such lofty penalties against 275 defendants – including many four-star retired generals and a retired chief of general staff – accused of trying to topple the “constitutional government.” The accused are mostly retired officers, academics, journalists. They are charged with considering overthrowing the government in 2003-2004. Was the crime they are accused of ever put into action? No? Most of the defendants are in prison for more than five years…

Turkey is of course not an Egypt. For the Turkish government to demonstrate is a right in Egypt, but forget demonstration, attending a court case and expressing sympathy with people whose human rights were blatantly violated by a political administration is banned.