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Editorial Says Egyptian Coup To Change Balances in Middle East, To Have Consequences for Turkey
Hurriyet Daily News Online
July 5, 2013

Protesters against ousted President Mohamed Mursi wave Egyptian flags in Tahrir Square in Cairo July 4, 2013. The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood was arrested by Egyptian security forces on Thursday in a crackdown against the Islamist movement after the army ousted the country`s first democratically elected president Mursi. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Editorial by Murat Yetkin: "Coup in Cairo, echoes in Ankara"

Mohamed Morsi, the first president of Egypt elected through free elections, was toppled by the military two days after the first anniversary of his office on July 3.

Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was brought to lead the Armed Forces together with the Defense Ministry because Morsi did not trust Mohamed Tantavi, the top general of his toppled predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, led the coup d`etat.

The soldiers installed Adly Mansour in the “interim” presidency until the elections. In his first statements, Mansour said the Ikhvan-i Muslimin, or the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Morsi`s political movement, was an important part of the Egyptian society and he believed it should take part in the next emergency elections. Mansour is the head of the Constitutional Court who stood against Morsi when he tried to concentrate all state powers to his presidency, including control over the judiciary.

Morsi, in custody together with his prime minister, Hesham Qandil, asked his people to stay with him and resist the coup. His supporters have been praying for Morsi in the Addawiya Square of Cairo, but Salafis, whom one could assume to be Morsi`s natural partners in such a strategic turn, have called on their supporters to return to their homes.

The international scene is worse for Morsi. All autocrats of the Arab world cheered up with the news that the first freely elected president of an Arab country – and Egypt is not just any Arab country – who posed an example for the freedom thirst of their own peoples, was put down. From Syria to Saudi Arabia, Jordan to Qatar (as the stage of an in-house coup last week anyway) congratulated the new rulers; Israel had no objections to seeing soldiers back in power in Egypt.

The statements from the United States and the European Union did not even call the coup a coup; they were expressing concern and asking the soldiers to go back to civilian rule as soon as possible.

While almost all the friends and foes of Morsi were leaving him alone, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu made a rather long and sentimental statement in which he condemned the coup, called for an immediate release of Morsi, Qandil and other members of the toppled government and demanded no restrictions on any candidate for the next elections; practically asking for free competition for MB candidates as well. Before going into an emergency meeting called by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan, who cut half his holiday for the Egypt situation, Davutoğlu also said the Turkish government called the Egyptian people and all of world public opinion to protect the “gains of the January 25 revolution” that ended Mubarak`s power.

The Turkish opposition condemned the coup in Egypt, too. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of the main opposition Republican People`s Party (CHP) said military involvement in politics was “unacceptable” and he wanted to see Egypt back on the democratic track. He also made a note of the importance of elected leaders listening to their people`s demands in democracies.

The coup in Egypt was unfair not for Morsi only; it took away the chance for the Egyptian people to say “no” to the autocratic tendencies of Morsi using democratic methods. And to remind him in democratic ways that he should respect the different ways of life in society and bear in mind that democracies can be sustained in a secular political environment, especially in Muslim societies. It also put the possibility of democratic development in the Arab region back many more years.

The coup in Egypt will change the political balances in the East Mediterranean and the Middle East once again, and will have consequences in the international and domestic politics in the region, including Turkey.

(Description of Source: Istanbul Hurriyet Daily News Online in English -- Website of pro-secular daily, more moderate than the Turkish version and addressing a foreign audience, owned by Dogan Media Group; URL:

©Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.

Commentary Says Egypt Saved From Dictator, Turkish-Dictator-in-Making Fears Developments
Hurriyet Daily News Online
July 5, 2013

Commentary by Yusuf Kanli: “Rights, freedoms and the Egyptian coup”

I was tweeting and messaging with some Turkish, Egyptian and Syrian friends late last night, with my eyes fixed on news channels trying to learn what`s going on in Egypt where the military staged a coup against a dictator in the making, Mohamed Morsi. Thanks to advances in technology, distances have ceased to exist – even if time is still an issue; it was virtually as if we were drinking coffee and exchanging opinions in my study room.

The night started with a delightful 4th of July reception at the residence of U.S. Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone during which the U.S. envoy delivered a lecture in democracy to Turkish ministers standing just next to him. Interestingly enough, almost at the same hour in Egypt, where Ricciardone had served before, the military was completing what the anti-Muslim Brotherhood opposition and people had started at Tahrir Square in toppling the Morsi government in a, so far, bloodless coup.

Any coup, of course, is unacceptable. Yet, one has to understand the awful situation our friends in Cairo were in. Coup on one hand, and a religious fundamentalist dictator in the making in the other. Which one to choose? In Turkish we have a rather interesting saying: “It is no big deal for a bachelor to get a divorce.” One has to be in the shoes of an Egyptian intellectual to understand the pains s/he might have suffered in deciding to support or not support the coup.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was quick to declare the coup “a dirty development” and called Egyptian people to “defend” their vote “which is their honor.” This “honor” literature is quite amazing. How many girls are falling victim to honor crimes every year in Turkey? Is saving a family`s honor by killing a girl who opposed being sold to a 70-year-old man comprehensible in modern societies?

So far it appeared that the Ikhwan or the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt has preferred not to engage in an armed confrontation with the military, an action which might be very costly and bloody. Yet, it might adopt a civilian disobedience campaign and trigger a low-intensity violent campaign to wear out the patience and prestige of the new pharaohs of Cairo.

Ricciardone was stressing that 237 years on, Americans still celebrate freedoms and rededicate themselves to the eternal defense of liberty. In a speech decorated with quotations from J.F. Kennedy and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, he said, “237 years after we declared our independence as a Republic, we still celebrate our independence of thought, by confronting and testing new ideas – no matter how provocative, or critical of the status quo.”

To members of a government that in order to quell Gezi Park and related protests horrendously used tear gas, killed at least five people and caused a partial loss of sight in at least 18 people, the U.S. envoy had a message: “Today the citizens of Turkey are also debating – passionately – which ideas, philosophies, and values should prevail in their own marketplace of thought... While you debate the most sensitive questions of these times, the United States stands by the Republic of Turkey and her democracy, and we reaffirm our support for all Turkish citizens` freedom of expression and of peaceful public assembly. No modern democracy can thrive without free, energetic, and independent-minded mass media, and now, the new social media. I salute the courage and professionalism of Turkey`s best journalists.”

July 3 night will be a landmark for Middle East and perhaps global politics. Egypt was saved from a dictator. The Turkish one in the making was scared by the development. But as is said, fear is no remedy to death… What will be the impacts on the neighborhood, on Turkey?

(Description of Source: Istanbul Hurriyet Daily News Online in English -- Website of pro-secular daily, more moderate than the Turkish version and addressing a foreign audience, owned by Dogan Media Group; URL:

©Compiled and distributed by NTIS, US Dept. of Commerce. All rights reserved.

Turkish paper says Egyptian protesters part of coup plan
BBC Monitoring European
July 05, 2013

Column by Mumtazer Turkone: “Masses Looking for Their Bully in Egypt”

“We swear that we will sacrifice our blood without hesitation to defend Egypt and its people against terrorists, radicals, and fools.” This is how Egyptian Chief of the General Staff Abdul Fatah al-Sisi ended his memorandum in which he gave the Egyptian President a 48-hour deadline.

It is so familiar, is it not? This will be followed by an actual coup, another phenomenon we know and can predict very well. The Egyptian army [move] to “take over the government” will begin with the excuse of “ending fraternal infighting and restoring order,” just as we saw repeatedly on 27 May [1960], 12 March [1970], and 12 September [1980]. After the army seizes the government, a military council made up of generals will run the country. Initially, they will say this will be for a year, but the period of their rule will change depending on conditions. Anything that is not democratic will now be possible. The military council will possibly install a dictator like Mubarak from its ranks. After a brief phase of democracy, Egypt will continue to be governed under the iron fist of a single person backed by the army and a tiny elite.

This is what the signs suggest. Our hope is that this is not what will happen, but...

One does not have to be a soothsayer to predict Egypt`s future. Everything is very clear and the coup is coming with a roar. Mursi was besieged step by step. All the tools he needed to defend himself and the people of Egypt were taken from him. The democratic system he heads is dysfunctional. The Egyptian constitutional court did not even allow him a parliament that could remove him from office by democratic means. In other words, it did not even allow him a means to step down by proper procedure. He cannot even lead Egypt to another election to allow the emergence of an alternative from the ballot box. The professionals of the former regime made the country “ungovernable,” in order to end his short experience with democracy. Every form of malfeasance was generated at home and abroad to ensure that Mursi failed. All [government activities] were undermined to create the impression of an administration that could not meet the most basic needs of the people. Conspiracies were hatched to create the image of a government that could not defend the country`s interests overseas. Open treason was committed against the country to seize the state and to create conditions for a coup. With no government experience, the Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] could not seize control of the state. It could not exercise its potency or foil the traps that were set. Now the siege is complete. The exhausted democratic government of Egypt is about to fall into the lap of putschists like a ripe pear.

The putschists will thoroughly beat up the “brothers” in order to end “fighting among brothers.” Basic rights and freedoms will be suspended. Order will be restored and the people will breathe a little more easily. Democracy and rule of law will not be sought for a long time after this unsuccessful experiment.

The masses that poured into the streets and Tahrir Square brought democracy to Egypt. This is true but the same masses “brought its demise.” The Egyptian experience shows us that masses can affect political process by expressing their complaints and indignation. It also shows that the masses can never assume responsibility for governance. The masses have not been players in the polarization and the fights that brought Egypt to this situation. They have only been a simple tool in the hands of the putschists. The remnants of the old regime have driven the masses to the streets and are preparing to take back the power they surrendered to the masses earlier. People who are very dissimilar from each other have joined hands for different reasons but within the fine web woven by the putschists. Their function will end as soon as the government is overthrown. If the masses in squares do not have the means to generate a democratic alternative, then we must defend the democracy they will bring to an end. The only remedy is the ballot box. The endeavour in Egypt is aimed solely at eliminating this remedy.

As I watch the masses that are burning Ikhwan offices in Egypt, let me quote a sentence by Cemil Meric who squeezed into a single sentence a truth that requires a book describe: “The masses always look for a bully to whom they can entrust their chastity.”

The situation we saw yesterday is so similar to the circumstances we have left in the distant past, is it not?

Source: Zaman website, Istanbul, in Turkish 4 Jul 13




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