Recent events in Egypt provide significant food for thought for China policy idealists and realists.
"We agree with what happened at Rabaa and at Nahda," said Mohamed Khamis, a spokesman for the Tamarod (Rebellion) campaign, which mobilised public opinion against the democratically-elected but deeply unpopular Morsi. "We don't like what the Brotherhood did."
As he was delivering multilayered messages concerning both foreign and domestic policy at the meeting, Erdoğan furthermore maintained that those who have been accusing the government of autocratic governance in Turkey should actually look at Egypt, where the coup rulers have been acting dictatorially. “If you want to see a dictator, go ahead, go to Egypt,” he said.
In an apparent reference to moves to topple his government at the time, Erdoğan recalled that Turkey had experienced coup attempts and undemocratic practices. “Here, at this moment, there are those who want to float again the West’s understanding which says ‘Democracy is not the ballot box,’ or ‘Democracy is not only the ballot box.’ But we say that democracy’s path passes through the ballot box and the ballot box itself is the people’s will. At the moment, this is what is being implemented in Egypt.”
“What do they say in Egypt? They say that ‘Democracy is not the ballot box.’”
A source later told the Associated Press that the evidence on Israel that Erdoğan was referring to was a video “available on the Internet” of a press conference by Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and French philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Levy.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that as far as he knew, that was the only evidence of the claim. A video of the two, dating back to 2011, shows Levy saying: “If the Muslim Brotherhood arrives in Egypt, I will not say democracy wants it, so let democracy progress. Democracy is not only elections, it is also values.”
Pressed further as to whether he would urge Egypt’s military to intervene against the Muslim Brotherhood, Levy said: “I will urge the prevention of them coming to power, but by all sorts of means.”
- Several actors from famous Turkish TV dramas are arrested in an anti-narcotic operation. Most of them were among dozens of artists who had actively supported the anti-government protests related to Gezi Park in Istanbul.
- The founder and 39 members of Eksi Sozluk, the largest Internet forum in Turkey, will be on trial, after prosecutors indicted them on the grounds of "desecrating sacred values." They are accused of insulting Islam and can be sentenced up to one year in prison. The founder and leading members had actively supported the protests, even distributed gas masks in Gezi Park.
- Audit teams of the Ministry of Finance accompanied by police raided nine provincial offices of three major energy-sector companies of Turkey’s largest group, Koc Holding. Consequently, the government cancelled a 1.5-million-euro-worth defence contract with Koc. Divan Hotel, which is owned by Koc, had opened its doors to Gezi protestors.
- And you don't need to be a celebrity or a large institution to get punished, even if you had passively supported the Gezi Park protests. Just two examples: 1) At least 19 people, including an 86 years old woman from Antalya, were fined 5,000 dollars because they supported the protests by banging pots and pans. 2) A driver in Hatay was fined 50 dollars because he supported the protests by honking.