Turkey didn’t go the way of Egypt

All praises to Allah, Turkey did not go the way of Egypt at all and has taught the world a very important lesson. While several media outlets like the BBC falsely reported that the military had taken over and Erdogan had fled the country, they entirely failed to report the reality or capture the mood on the street that the rest of us could see – via social, alternative and Turkish media – and proved, through biased running commentary that they were keen on seeing the coup succeed. Reporting that bridges have been blocked by the military and the “TV station” seized, they forgot that seizing TV stations is so 1950s in this digital age, as one Turkish politician put it.

They failed to report the tens of thousands who came out in the streets, stirred by the Islamic call to prayer to challenge the coup, they omitted reporting the chants of “Ya Allah, bismillah, Allahu akbar” in that distinct and wonderful Turkish accent that shook the earth beneath the plotters feet and, how they prayed the dawn prayer in congregation on the streets to remember their purpose and be tranquil thankful amidst the commotion. The media were sluggish in reporting how tanks were captured and soldiers arrested not just by the police but unarmed protestors who came out, despite the firing.

It is evident, just as in Egypt, that powerful nations were watching and waiting eagerly in the sidelines, supporting the coup but, ready to claim, in the event of failure, that they supported the democratically elected leaders. Really? I don’t recall such support for democracy in Algeria, Palestine or Egypt. Let the world take note of these forked-tongues. It’s never been about rights, values or people’s choices. It’s just interests.

The Turks have been put under immense pressure and have of course made lots of mistakes and need to be accountable to their people for that. But let’s not forget how many refugees they’ve absorbed, how many violent attacks they’ve faced and much they’ve been vilified in Europe – with Brexitiers scaremongering how 2million of them could come to British shores if we remained in the EU. Well, Turkish streets filled up last night in support of their president and government against the largest standing army in Europe. I wonder how many would do the same for resigned Cameron or unelected May, if it ever came to that?

– Moazzam Begg


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