15 July, 2016: When the righteous saved democracy in Turkey

July 14, 2017 Europe , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

Reuters photo



Yasser M. Dhouib


The Republic of Turkey will this year commemorate an unusual anniversary. It is a saga of national dimensions and is by far the story of a popular epic fought and preserved by ordinary Turkish citizens, who by their stand defied the concept of political change by force and military means.

More than that it is a story and a lesson to learn of people’s maturity when it comes to fight for the common legacy of freedom and national dignity. It is indeed one of common knowledge that the 15th July 2016 was a Turkish bastille aimed against military might and was also the revealing truth of a secret and subversive terrorist cells like that of Gulen’s group who played a major role in this failed coup.

It was actually aimed to put Turks back to square one in the dire path of political and institutional backwardness. No one can deny the bravery of the Turks, their courage and defiance against armed soldiers with their tanks. This act was a helpless but sincere demeanor to deter them from destroying their democracy.

But the question worth raising is what made this popular surge so unique and particular in a European western Muslim country like Turkey?

It has for some time within the European chancelleries and some European intellectuals been assumed that Turkish democracy cannot merit and deserve their praise and respect, this stereotype due mainly to this ill and bad faith concept that the ruling AKP party in Turkey is having a supposedly double standard understanding of democracy and by the same token advancing a purely hidden Islamist agenda in the country.

I must confess that these fears were purely baseless and out of context in the Turkish polity and must add also that the Republic of Turkey has been an avant garde modern political regime that has struggled to maintain a solid path in both economical and political aspects to advance from a purely backward military regime with a strict and rather jacobine understanding of secularism to an open an appeased democracy with its cultural richness and diversity.

Turkey has lived since 2002 with its promises given to and reached with its European partners to make these reforms within a solid base for an eventual integration to the European Union, a deal reached and agreed upon by European leaders, but the failure to keep a promise and raise the bar of this “Christian union” has made the deal not workable.

This has therefore led to an unfortunate opportunity for the EU to make this club more open to new and important partners, history teaching us that missed opportunities are bound not to come back.

The Europeans leaders have really missed the point in not supporting Turkey during the failed coup. They compromised their values and beliefs in democracy and human rights in standing and waiting on the sidelines during that dreadful night of July 15, 2016. By these acts in not clamping down on the assets of the Gulen group in Europe they have totally compromised their commitments to fight and be an equal partner with Turkey to fight terrorism. The West cannot have the privilege to lose the strategic partnership with Turkey.






Yasser M. Dhouib

Yasser is a Public Relations Specialist (PR Specialist) Outreach Muslim Community Volunteer in Montreal, Canada. He is a former Board Member of The Canadian Muslim Forum CMF-FMC and advocated on issues relating to integration, inclusion and participation of minority communities in the broader Canadian and Quebec society, as well as addressing concerns related to discrimination and unemployment.


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