Approximately a year ago, Arabian Spring that started in Tunusia and spread through North African and Middle Eastern Countries with domino effect, will certainly be one of the most important events of the year 2011. The wave that has ended the reigns of dictators in Tunusia, Egypt and Libya, put the administrations to be established and their architects under the responsibility. The progressions in Tunusia, that is the first stop of the movement, brought the question of wheather the social movement that was lived during the first days was a revolution to the agenda. The well known Oriantalist cliché of, in Muslim communities revolutions only become realised by change of the administrators in Palaces, has been reminded once again and expressed quite often. Whatever did the French Revolution, Industrial Revolution, Soviet Revolution change in Europe, the revolution wave in Middle Eastern has changed nothing less and will continue to do so.
The change it is going to make will not be the nature of humankind. Will not be the nature of woman and man. It will not realize someone’s utopian expectations.
Everybody may attribute different expectations or meanings to the revolution. As matter of fact revolution is a natural process that brings together different expectations to the same point. It is a great lesson that has to be learned by all political actors or architects of the society that revolution is a natural process that cannot be attributed to any parties, group or to a certain actor.
Turkey has always been very interested and sensitive to the progression in its area of effect and interest from the very start. Turkey called the unwanted leaders-Zeynelabidin Bin Ali, Hüsnü Mübarek, Muammer Kaddafi and Beşar Esad- of the countries where the insurrection movement was going on, and asked them to reply the demands of their citizens many times. With this social transaction, in the countries that are at the verge of a new era, the concept model of Turkey has often been stated, and emphasized the importance of getting benefits of Turkey’s knowledge and experiences, which is also in the process of a new construction.
Turkey-Israel Relations In the Shadow of Arabian Spring
The Blue Marmara event was the most important progression that affected the quake of the order based, complex cooperation between Israel and dishonest and hypocritical leaders. The change of administrations that Israel used to collaborate with, and the sympathy for Turkey that aroused in the region provided Turkey’s awareness that long been a slept and derived a brand new conjuncture around. It of course not possible to say ‘wrong’ to what is wrong and ‘stop’ to the cruelty are riskless. Within the context of the critics of some liberalists nowadays, for example blocking The Blue Marmara Ship’s going into the sea, would you really like that any risky movements, right to stop revolution under government?
It is as important to be regarded as strong as to be really strong. Being powerful is related to the extent of those who submit you. When it comes to the relations with Israel, the imaginative propaganda machine that immediately intervenes inside and outside of Turkey, starts up.
There is a clear reality that is even seen by those who had warned Turkey to the extent of being coward when the relations between Turkey and Israel has deteriorated that:
From the recent attitudes toward Israel Turkey is quite profitable. So-called good relations between Israel, have had expensive costs to Turkey., and as getting into the position of its own, Turkey gets rid of those excessive costs and joys with the fruitfulness of alternative relations.
Actually, potentially, Turkey had never deserved such a commitment and such an improper diplomacy. Turkey was never lack of the capital that was needed to be pivot or at least could take an active role in the play. The only motive Turkey needed was the belief in the existence of this capital, and the stability to use it. The things that were lived with Israel, was a simple implementation of Turkey’s being a decision maker actor. From now on Turkey makes it own decisions.
Arabian Spring and Turkey
Every stop of the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to the North African Countries where “Arabian Spring” has been experienced followed by not only Turkish but also world media step by step. In fact what was being wondered and followed was not Erdoğan himself. More importantly, the symbolic meanings of Turkey in the region living the season of spring manifested itself more obvious by the Prime Minister’s visit. Before Erdoğan’s visit France President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron’s hastily goings to the region be the first leaders, put them into a funny situation. They might have approved the initiative Turkey has won in the region unintentionally.
Historical importance of the Prime Minister’s this visit was not limited to the extend of Turkey’s integration and cohesion to the region. After the statement of Erdoğan about secularism in Egypt, and his speeches in Tunisia and Libya have fused a historical debate in terms of Islamic theory, Turkey’s interpretation of secularism or in system searches of the region.
As is known, it has been stated in the constitution of Egypt that “the religion of the state is Islam, language is Arabic an done of the constitutional source is Quran” since 1923. There have been no objections from the majority groups that compose the society except liberals and Copts .It is possible to consider Erdoğan’s messages about secularism as a communication mistake in this aspect. Because, the sympathy towards Erdoğan’s personality in Egypt might have been the only consensus of the country and so, unnecessary debates emerged.
In fact secularism might be the only thing that cannot be adopted in the countries that are interested in “Turkey Model”. Secularism doesn’t appeal to Arabic countries with its applications neither in Turkey, nor in west. If religion, conscience and freedom of expression are being disturbed, Arabic people believe that they are being guaranteed by the Islamic Constitution more than in any secular regime.
In early July, 28 of 32 parties signed a memorandum of the full text of the existing substances of the constitution “religion, conscience and freedom of thought” cannot be changed. This text is a serious message to those who started the debate.
Erdoğan’s remarks about secularism might have led to a disappointment as it is an that issue Egyptian society is sensitive about. Even those who would like to be seen with Erdoğan didn’t hesitate to react because of the issue. İhvan-Müslimin Movement (Muslims Brotherhood Movement) made an official statement and brought the topic to the point Erdoğan to interferes in the internal affairs of Egypt.
Being one of the people who is aware of the sensitivity of the region, it wouldn’t be possible for Erdoğan not to predict the outcomes of his words. Moreover, the intensity of the debate arose when the word “secular” interpreted as “atheist” in Arabic.
Although the “secularism” in the Prime Minister’s statement is his own interpretation with the stress of democracy, we haven’t seen a successful and not offending religious people practice of it yet. For Turkey, a secularism project that can be approved by people from all walks hasn’t been seen. A description of secularism with a full recognition of freedom in religion and conscious might be a unique practice presented by Turkey under the leadership of Erdoğan and might take its place in history by contributing the practices of secularism.
Furthermore, a new definition of secularism would be considered as an attempt to reveal new cases for Muslim political theory and could be debatable… In fact, while the Prime Minister saying “Please convince me if it is contrary to Islam” he points out that he is aware of the fact that he is going to start a historical a theoretical discussion.
As the countries of Arabian Spring don’t have any intention to accept secularism, those words wouldn’t be important and the real addresses of this statement is clearly Turkish and western public. Despite the potential risk and expenses of such a speech’s not being done in Turkey or any western countries but in Cairo has a different significance and impact. However, this is a different matter to be discussed.
Result: “Those Who Oppose This Decision Will Certainly Loose”
Since the beginning of the events until today, Turkey has kept its interest and effect alive and the politics that will be developed hereafter will remain the same. The impact of the Prime Minister’s charisma on the people of the region, and the new constitution’s construction process in Turkey will set an example to Egypt, Tunisia and Libya about this regard. Turkey defends the thesis of “a more fair world for everyone”. This decision will be a decision to force other actors to take their positions. Those who oppose this decision will certainly lose.