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In Turkey’s Example, Some See Map for Egypt

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Bigfella View Post
    I think the fears of where this might go are very legitimate. People remember how Iran ended up & how Sudan & Afghanistan went (not to mention those parts of Palestine & lebanon under Islamist control). The region is screwed up enough without adding another militant theocracy. In a situation where the largest & best organized opposition group is an Islamist group all these fears are very justifiable.
    Iran & Afghanistan went the way they did because of external support for unpopular regimes. The Iranians had '53 & the Afghans had to endure an invasion which precludes it in the comparison. I think both these events would have played a major role in determining the future trajectory.

    So how do Egypt & Iran differ ? As you know Iran is majority Shia and the only country to be so this would have added an extra impetus for a theocracy to be formed. Egypt is Sunni and there are no theocracies in the Sunni world. Afghanistan is the only exception most likely excacerbated due to the war.

    Palestine & Lebanon were cauldrons with some event or the other blowing up every now & then. Quite different to Egypt.

    Sudan's had large bouts of civil war for the majority of the time since its inception.

    Countries don't turn Islamic overnight without good reasons to go with what is effectively a last resort & worst choice. Corruption, inflation & unemployment aren't exactly in the same league. So i would maintain there have to be extenuating circumstances present to go with a revolutionary tranformation rather than a political one.

    Originally posted by Bigfella View Post
    I don't think the worry is that the Egyptian people will choose the 'wrong' option, but that in a situation where old power structures are fragmenting that an organised militant group representing a minority might take power. Unfortunately there are a raft of examples of this sort of thing happening throughout the C20th. This didn't happen overnight in Iran, though the situation here has significant differences.
    Where the danger lies I feel is in the degree of influence external players exert in the formation of the next administration in Egypt.

    If the new adminstration is perceived to be more US influenced then the ppl will revolt. As there would perceive be no difference with the previous one. Just a nameplate change. This will set in motion efforts to create an islamic movement. But if the US sides with the egyptian people, it is in fact dumping existing allies in the region. Neither of these options is feasible.

    So this means the US has to be hands off for the next administration to gain credibility with the Egyptian people.

    Originally posted by Bigfella View Post
    The point about an 'Egyptian Erdogan' is about more than a new leader. It is about the idea that Islamists aren't going away in the Arab world & are often the strongest forces opposing existing regimes. Ways need to be found to bring enough of them into representitive systems that their ability to set up undemocratic regimes is removed & support for violence/revolution is undermined.

    Early signs are that the Brotherhood might be willing to participate in this manner. Lets hope they do.
    This is where the Erdogan idea is appealing. Thing is how to engineer it ?

    Has to be done by Mubarak. Will be interesting to see if there are any visits by Turkish officials in the next few months. I'd imagine the Turks would be game as it would be yet another way to garner influence in the Arab world. They'd be setting the template for bringing in democracy there.

    What will Israel make of yet another Turkey on its western border ?
    Last edited by Double Edge; 09 Feb 11,, 20:23.


    • #17
      Steven Cook of CFR disagrees with the 'turkish model' for Egypt. He raises some stark questions as to whether the military will actually do the people's bidding in the absence of external factors.

      The Turkish Model for Egypt? Beware of False Analogies

      In essence his argument is Turkey would not have become more democratic had it not been for her people's aspirations to join the EU which stipulated conditions on governance. That the army had to accede to this demand, given the majority of Turks supported it.
      Last edited by Double Edge; 13 Feb 11,, 17:38.