Thank God! There is democracy
In recent times, the experiences from the Arab Spring have proven that any governments formed with the encouragement of street riots and violence can never become an alternative for the brutal authoritarian regimes they replace. Just look at what happened in Iraq, Libya and currently in Syria.
The Syrian people, for example, first thought that the collapse of the fascist Baath Party during the era of Hafez Assad would help them be freer in their country. However, his son Bashar Assad, who was once supported by the Syrian people for a better future, turned out to be as ruthless as his father and here we are with millions of former pro-Assad Syrians and innocent civilians – displaced, far away from their homes, wounded or dead. Their country has been also divided into pieces and is now run by a bunch of global powers or their associate non-state actors. Do not immediately jump to conclusions as obviously I will not promote dictatorships, but hear me out.
Let’s take Libya for example. Is there any Libyan citizen who can claim there is a difference between the late toppled autocrat Muammar Gaddafi and the current puppet figures in their homeland? My guess is no. The same question is valid for the rest of the whole region. No need to even mention the years of unending chaos and ambiguity in the failed state of Iraq.
All these unfortunate experiences tell us something: The only way for a brighter future in a country is democracy but not with violent urban action. There is no doubt that this holds true for not only the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region but also for any place in the world. In other words, although toppling a dictatorship or an unsuccessful government sounds good and seems like a ray of hope for people, the stories never develop like that.
In June 2013, Turkey was under attack by a series of seeming street protests, now called the Gezi Park Riots. The uprising, which suddenly escalated across the entire country and was widely broadcasted by the Western media, was an apparent attempt to kick off an Arab Spring-like movement in Turkey but failed. Sadly enough, the leftist, excited teens, opposing citizens and even some democrats were deceived as they approved such illegal attacks and intended riots.
The Gezi Park incident’s failure was directly linked with the positive developments in Turkey that grew at that time, as there were concrete steps taken to improve the democratic tradition, welfare was much better than ever, export rates were greater compared to the past records and the value of US dollar was around TL 1.90 ($0.35 in current prices). Simply, the incident was not an innocent demonstration against tyranny, but there was a hidden story – which was internally and externally promoted by anti-Turkey groups – to damage the Turkish democracy and topple its democratically-elected government.
Saving itself from this deadly scheme in 2013, Turkey, in the following years, couldn’t escape from being a target of similar attacks but in different forms. It was hit by a judicial coup attempt in December 2013, a bloody military coup attempt in July 2016 and the recent economic speculations and manipulations, but has managed to secure its democracy.
Similarly, France is now caught in a giant uprising. The ongoing protests, organized by the “yellow vests,” particularly in the capital Paris, naturally remind readers of what Turkey witnessed a few years ago. French President Emmanuel Macron, the man of the “globalists,” looks like he will be portrayed as a failed leader soon.
However, his statement Tuesday, accepting the demands of the protesters and stepping back from the controversial economic reforms, shows that he is aware of what he is facing. Having 24 percent voter support without the alliance, Macron is a Johnny-come-lately politician. He is stuck in a difficult position with the yellow vests and cannot show a proper reaction against such maneuvers like his highly-experienced presidential counterparts, Turkey’s Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Thank God, the government in the French state is chosen through the ballot box, just as in Turkey and other democratic countries, but not through street uprisings. As France is a democracy, Macron’s fate is very unlikely to be the same as the leaders in the MENA region during the Arab Spring.
In a nutshell, every citizen has the right to voice their demands, reactions and objections against any government, but not in a violent manner. No matter what, democracy and elections should be the sole mechanism for making a change in the governance of a state. Otherwise, the world cannot save itself from violence, chaos and anarchy.