On the occasion of August 14: Putting history back on the right track - YASIN AKTAY

On the occasion of August 14: Putting history back on the right track

Aug. 14 is the founding anniversary of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Due to martyr funerals, rather than celebrating the anniversary, the occasion yesterday was marked with a commemoration only at AK Party's headquarters. Coincidence has it that the date of the Arab Spring, which occurred with a bloody raid in Egypt, as one of the most important effects on regional politics, falls on the 12th anniversary of the AK Party.

It has been two years since thousands of civilians demonstrating at Rabaa Square against the coup were massacred by the Sisi administration. Without a doubt, this mass slaughter, which was the largest in the history of modern Egypt, will also deeply affect the country's future. Those who will be writing Egypt's history in the future will note the Rabaa Square massacre as a historical turning point.

The indifference of the international community toward such a massacre will be remembered as one of the greatest shames of humanity. The unlawfulness and massacres of the Sisi administration, despite the increasing pressure on all opposing groups - notably, Islamic segments - the indifference of the Western world on the happenings, will shape the thoughts and conscience of future generations in non-Western worlds.

Segments crying “coup”, provoked the people against Mohammed Morsi's administration with arguments that the country would experience a lack of oil and power outages. These coup criers who are showing no reaction toward the current energy bottleneck, power outages and oil queues under the Sisi regime, have actually shown during the process leading to Morsi's ouster that there is more than meets the eye.

The change in rule, as a result of the mass demonstrations that began in Tunisia at the end of 2010 and had spread to other countries in the region being replaced after five years by civil wars and dictatorial regimes as a result of various external interventions, is a historical breaking point; in other words, it is the derailing of history. It is currently unclear within what timeframe this rail will get back on the track to democratization once again.

The impact of the Sisi coup in Cairo, the center of the Arab League, on the region's turn from democratization, is quite significant. The ruthless and bloody suppression of opposition groups trying to show their dissatisfaction with existing regimes through democratic demonstrations and democratic political programs is setting the ground for the sociological atmosphere sought by the marginal ideology movements in the region. And it seems that the West is not at all disturbed by this situation.

It seems as though Sisi will not be keeping the security and stability promise he made to imperialist Westerners either. The unrest in the country is increasing by the day. The Sisi regime, on the other hand, is increasing the dose of severity.

According to a report by the Egypt Center for Economic and Social Rights, 36,500 people have been detained and arrested since the Sisi coup until May 2015. One-hundred-and-sixty-three Egyptians disappeared somehow in April 2015 alone. The Western countries' reaction to this was to ignore what happened for its economic interests and host with great hospitality a dictator who has the blood of thousands on his hands.

Germany is one of the noteworthy examples. The German press, which has never hesitated to describe as "dictatorial" the democratic regime in Turkey, ignoring the country's democracy experience which has been continuing since 1876, even if in intervals, and its politicians avoiding any mention of the coup while considering Sisi a legitimate head of state because of a $9 billion investment by the Siemens company in Egypt, shows how distinct and affective the colonial mentality still is in the Western world.

The Sisi regime had convinced the West, which continues to evaluate matters from the perspective of economic interests and the unconditional protection of Israel, with security and stability arguments, not with the rhetoric that he will establish a democratic or liberal regime in Egypt. Western countries, quite disturbed by the Muslim Brotherhood's anti-violence stance, were ready to believe these arguments. Because the rising demand in the Arab world "to have a say on one's own future," could have resulted in the elimination of neo-colonialism that is shaping in the Arab world.

Since the backing of dictators instead of democratic regimes, keeping silent in the face of a regime that does not hesitate to use chemical and biological weapons toward civilians in the civil war in Syria has blocked the paths to democratic opposition; it has paved the way for the marginalization of the masses. The most prominent of these marginal groups is ISIL.

If at the current point, fighting the terrorist organization ISIL is perceived only as striking certain locations with jets and in the meantime killing civilians "by mistake" as in Atme, the problem cannot be solved. If there is any sociology behind the terrorist organization ISIL, then it should be stated that one of the most important elements of this is supporting the development of democratic regimes in the region.

If the coalition forces fighting ISIL were able to show the courage to stand up against the coup against the first elected head of state in the history of Egypt, everything in the region could have been much more different today. In an article published in Foreign Policy, Shadi Hamid expressed this reality with slightly different and quite pragmatic arguments by stating that "the Egyptian coup turned out to be a gift to [ISIL]." In this context, it is seen that the terrorist organization ISIL is a direct production of the West, and now serves as a tool providing legitimacy to those fighting it.

Turkey is the only country representing the principal and moral dimension of the West. Turkey's lack of having an imperialist/colonial past has a role in this. Turkey prefers to approach the developments in the region within the context of the requirements of democracy. Hence, it advocates that security and stability can only become permanent after legitimate democratic regimes are formed. Looking at examples, such as Libya, Yemen, Egypt and Syria, it seems as though building democratization is impossible. Perhaps everyone needs to give a chance to this "impossible," i.e. democratization. And what this requires is the formation of a suitable sociology. The path to forming this sociology in the Middle East is through the ouster of the coup administration in Egypt and the Assad regime in Syria. If the West genuinely wants to fight ISIL, this is where they need to start. Perhaps this way, history may get back on track.


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