Commentary, Middle East, Politics

If Morsi did not make a ‘mistake…’

While all of these inhumane implementations of torture and despotism proceed, it is not surprising that the West, which preaches about “universal values,” supports the coup, let alone remaining silent.

Exactly two years ago today, a coup was carried out against the first democratically elected president of Egypt. The military junta continues with all its violence. Leaders and volunteers of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose only fault is to be elected by the people, are being punished, exposed to torture or are openly shot in squares.

While all of these inhumane implementations of torture and despotism proceed, it is not surprising that the West, which preaches about “universal values,” supports the coup, let alone remaining silent.

At first, it looks like a contradiction that the criterion used by the West to bring non-Western countries in line are disregarded in Egypt, where they provide economic, military and political support to the junta.

Exactly at this point, it must be seen that the justifications which triggered the uprisings called the Arab Spring, are based on the same reasons as the West’s support for al-Sisi. Most probably, the Brotherhood too was a victim of not being able to read well the justifications which brought Hosni Mubarak down and brought it to power.

There were real justifications for why uprisings, which started in Tunis and reached its peak in Egypt, received societal support. These included; suppression by the military; single-party or monarchy –despotic- administrations; the suppression of political freedoms including Islamic movements; who would have a say over resources; and more importantly, the issue of how these would be shared and the problem of poverty which arises from this… In addition, the Israeli factor was also a reason which took domestic politics and international relations hostage…

The Brotherhood was extremely precautious at the beginning as it was beat up in such political overturns. However, by entering the elections, it undertook all risks of the post-Mubarak era, which cannot even be called a revolution. The role of positivity which convinced them during this process of change was rather great. There was now the idea that the people’s demands cannot be avoided, and that all types of despotism and all relations based on interest regarding it would be changed. As a matter of fact, this sense of persuasion was based on the idea that a peaceful transition would be ensured through integration to the global system, in return for reconciling with Western universal values.

It is especially evident that they did not comprehend the fact that the established order stayed intact in the post-Mubarak era in Egypt. The fact that the Egyptian economy is controlled by the military was sufficient to show the invalidity of this optimism.

It was revealed the Brotherhood movement was not able to properly read the tense relationship between the regional powers and international balances. In the Brotherhood administration, there was a misperception that it would guarantee its power in line with how much it has joined the system.

It would realize later that in a crucial country like Egypt, the possibility of the Camp David Accord being shaken is way more important than all values and articulations. The Israeli factor, which almost took all of the countries throughout the region hostage as well as their relation with the global system and domestic politics, was more important than societal dynamics and could not be left to its demands. The military and bureaucratic elite power, -which continued this policy- remained, while the Morsi administration assumed the system had changed.

We saw once again that a country like Egypt is so important that it cannot be ruled based on the demands of the Egyptian people!

The fact that Saudi Arabia was primarily behind the coup demonstrated the existence of a different scope of tension, -the same way in Syria- through the relations between the U.S. and regional actors. The Islamic movement wave represented by the Brotherhood would in a way disturb actors in the region at a local level, and Westerners at a global scale. When one thinks about why the West –which preaches universal values- does not question the monarchy and despotism which lies at the base of the oil balance established by Saudi Arabia, one can understand why they also support military despotism.

Could this coup have been prevented had the “mistakes” which scared regional and global hegemons not been made?

It looks like even a political transformation which would conclude by voluntarily articulation of global capitalism could not be accepted by regional actors or the global patrons. Looking at the investment agreements worth billions of dollars made by Western Europeans, and the oil sheikhs providing assistance, it can be understood that Westerners are in favor of carrying out their economic relations in a controlled manner, even if it means cooperating with a despotic administration.

The fact that Israel is the most pleased side regarding the coup means that the pre-Arab spring balances have been reinstalled.

It must also be noted that this process was a response to the idea that Turkey was a playmaker actor in the Arab spring.

No coup in Turkey has been an issue of domestic politics as much as the one carried out by al-Sisi. The fact that our people rose up against oppression and displayed solidarity sends a significant message. However, at the political level, a discourse which led Morsi to be treated as a “Turkish spy” –for the sake of embracing him- should have been avoided. Coups come and go, but Egypt remains there.

Resource: World Bulletin, July 08, 2015


Akif Emre is one of the founders of Yeni Safak newspaper and still remains a columnist in this newspaper. At the same time he continues as Chief-Editor of the Dünya Bulletin which is the first international news portal broadcasts in many languages ​​in Turkey.