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And if they do take credit (which is unlikely to impress anybody outside the U.S.) what harm exactly does it do? A more serious type of propaganda might be that described by Cihan Tugal
It is striking that as Egypt turns a new page in history, voices as diverse as Financial Times, Le Monde and the New York Times want it to follow the Turkish model. But is the process in Turkey really repeatable? And who would stand to gain if it were taken as a model?


Even though there is frequent talk of a Turkish model for these countries, the new regime in that country is a mixed blessing. It appears that Turkey, under its conservative Justice and Development Party government, has been able to bring Islam and democracy together. It is also true that military control has diminished in Turkey over the last eight years, but this has been coupled by intensified police control and concentration of power in the executive. The separation of powers has been crippled as well. Moreover, structural adjustment has become even more aggressive, dramatically bringing down wages and boosting unemployment and poverty. While the Turkish security forces have been more restrained in comparison to those of other regimes in the region, there is no question that anti-"structural adjustment" protests will not be tolerated. A recent referendum (in September 2010) was celebrated worldwide because it further weakened the Turkish military. Yet, after September, the Turkish police have become more violent against protests that call pro-free-market reforms into question.

The likeliness of the Turkish scenario in Egypt is quite questionable. The actors of the Turkish process were pro-business Islamists, conservatives, (neo)liberals and right-wing nationalists. The major players in the Egyptian protests, by contrast, are leftists, (pro-labor) Islamists, and along with them liberals and left-wing nationalists. These groups are still gathering together, despite the dictator's downfall, and working on their demands. While the higher Brotherhood leadership called for an end to the recent strikes, the mentioned coalition has not only supported the strikes, but also demanded higher wages and a wider social safety net for all Egyptians! I dread to think what techniques bequeathed from the old regime would have to be put in use to make all these strikers and young people remain silent when faced with a Turkish-style neoliberal semi-democratic rule.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2011 at 02:12:06 PM EST
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