FOR the first time in modern Turkey, citizens foiled a coup attempt — a deviation from the usual situation since 1960 whereby the military would overthrow civilian governments within a few hours.
The most notable of such incidents was the ‘Coup by Memorandum’ in 1971. At the time, the Armed Forces did not need to send out tanks on the roads. The military delivered the warning memorandum to the government which resigned on the same day.
The dramatic change in the minds of Turkish people in the last two days was a source of relief for the Arab and Muslim world, particularly the countries which suffered from bloody military coups.
This shows that the Turkish defended democracy in a civilized way as they foiled an attempt to spark civil war in a country with certain geographical, demographic and political characteristics. The reaction of Arab and Muslim countries to the firm stance of citizens against the coup-plotters by supporting the Special Forces in the crackdown was parallel to the relief that followed retrieval of governance from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt on June 30, 2013 although the roles were different in both countries. In the case of the latter, the military was responsive to the desire of citizens by protecting the revolution. It was a record for the Egyptian military that displayed nationalistic posture throughout the crisis which started on Jan 25, 2011.
This happened despite the global notion that the military has always been a tool for the government in crushing public unrest. The Egyptian military monitored the suffering of citizens throughout the oneyear Brotherhood era. The suffering was either through open and organized looting of national wealth by converting the agricultural economy into private ownership of members of the Guidance Offi ce or preventing judicial independence. It also included their grinning fangs as they threaten to export their revolution to the GCC countries, similar to what the Mullah regime in Iran has been doing for 37 years. The Egyptian rescue movement changed the prevalent concepts about the role of the military in Third World countries. If the Turkish people’s support for the Armed Forces foiled the coup attempt, then the Egyptian Army’s support for the June 30 Revolution was a superior expression of its national role.
Throughout the last three years, the Brotherhood Group and its mouthpieces tried to portray what happened in 2013 as a military coup and assisted those who move in their orbit of terrorist gangs to destabilize security through mobile terrorist operations. Nevertheless, they failed to impose their destructive ideas on the Egyptians. Actually, their isolation and rejection among the people increased. The Egyptian experiment is compared with that of the Turkish but in another angle — the people’s protection of the Army prevented its transformation into an obedient tool in the hands of the authority. In both cases, the results included protection of democracy and fortifi cation of the people’s will. In Ankara today, a big workshop is waiting for Erdogan especially in the aspect of reviewing his policies and allies in the region.
He has to realize the magnitude of the force represented by the Turkish- Saudi-Egyptian alliance in the Arab and Muslim world, even the whole world. This tripartite regional force is capable of creating a huge protective and deterrence system, far from what Erdogan could imagine. He has been gambling to join the European Union for years, whereas the Europeans did not leave any stumbling block but threw it towards Turkey’s way to prevent the latter from joining their camp. He has to abandon his principle of assisting the Brotherhood coup-plotters who usurped the authority by rigging the 2012 elections and impose themselves as rulers of Egypt. At present, there is no other way for Erdogan but to look around his natural environment and surroundings to become an important factor in helping Egypt and Saudi Arabia in their bid to eradicate the chaos in the Arab and Muslim world.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times