President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the first to condemn Egypt’s military coup in 2013 that had overthrown the Muslim Brotherhood government, “What happened in Egypt is not an intervention, but a coup. The West sides with democracy, doesn’t it? It was a test of sincerity, and the West failed it. There is no democratic coup.”
Erdogan also said after the coup, “The ballot box is the honor of democracy”, and he invited the entire world to act against the coup with a “sincere, principled and an ethical position.”
From the first day of the coup, anti-coup protesters who gathered in front of the Egypt’s Consulate in Istanbul condemned the coup as loud as the protesters in Egypt. The biggest support was from those who took to the streets in Turkey and from Erdogan, who constantly complimented the courage of the protesters in Egypt.
In addition, the civilian deaths and injuries after Rabaa massacre on August 14, 2013, made hundreds of people take to the streets in Turkey. The “Rabaa” sign, which was the symbol of the resistance, became Erdogan’s salute at his meetings with crowds, according to the Daily Sabah, a Turkish daily newspaper.
Since then, Erdogan has never failed to salute the protesters in Egypt with the “Rabaa” sign for the last three years. Inspired by Rabaa resistance spirit, Erdogan has saluted his own people who resisted the attempted coup in the streets on the night of July 15-16, with the “Rabaa” sign during his speeches after the failed coup, said the Daily Sabah.
Erdogan was the strongest voice against the coup in Egypt and has been the most important dynamic that prepared the substructure of the anti-coup resistance in Turkey. According to the Turkish daily newspaper, Erdogan, who burst into tears for Asmaa el-Beltagy, who was killed by a sniper, taught his people step by step that coups can and should be resisted.
The failed coup attempt and the people’s extraordinary reaction has shown that Erdogan’s most important investment and asset during his 40 years of political life was” his sincere rhetoric of the national will against coups.” In this context, Erdogan’s resistance to Egypt’s coup in Rabaa Square was one of the most important examples of preparing his public to these hard moments.
Since the very beginning, the most important driving force of Erdogan’s political discourse is this rhetoric against coups and any kind of undemocratic intervention in politics.
Erdogan’s statement to be “taking this road with his white burial robe,” since the very first day of his government and his reference to former Prime Minister Adnan Menderes’s execution, who was the first Turkish prime minister to come to power in elections, and saying that” he acquired his political roots from Menderes and the Democrat Party, which was based on his liberal principles, and being the most popular leader after Menderes have engraved the similarities between Menderes and Erdogan in many people’s subconscious,” said the Daily Sabah.
After every crisis Erdogan has faced, his supporters, who put Erdogan’s picture next to one of Menderes on their banners, promised that Erdogan’s fate would never be like that of Menderes.
It might be said that the real awareness and benchmark of acting against a coup was complete when Erdogan became a symbol during the Egypt coup.
Erdogan has deeply rooted in the Turkish awareness and conscience Rabaa resistance since Erdogan was always referring to the Rabaa in most of his speeches. Erdogan invited Turkish people to support the struggle for democracy there. He harshly criticizes those who call a coup “a democratic coup” of being hypocrites.
As the leader who reacted against the coup most severely, Erdogan addressed other Muslim leaders in one of his speeches, saying: “Our brothers in Egypt are slaughtered, justice and conscience in Egypt are slaughtered, and when will you hear about this? When will you see? Our brothers’ blood is being shed, when will you notice this blood? Don’t you forget that tomorrow the same thing might happen to you? The one who still remains silent about this violence is the one to collaborate,” said the Daily Sabah.
Most probably when Erdogan was saying these words he was not expecting a coup attempt in Turkey, but it seems that Rabaa’s resistance spirit against Egypt’s coup has transferred to the Turkish people who refused to repeat Egypt’s scenario. The Daily Sabah reported that the people proved that they learned a lot from the Rabaa resistance by doing an even better job.