Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Democracy Wins in Turkey

The countries that have strong military rule, and the military interferes, in some way or the other, in the political affairs, have always been the victims of military coups. Military, in such countries, finding the political or democratic government weaker, or taking advantage of any situation, initiate a coup and thus try to attain all the powers. Or sometimes, there is a history of competition or rivalry between the military leadership and political government that results in different such incidents wherein the military tend to overthrow the political government. Turkey is one of the same countries.
There have been several coup attempts by military in Turkish history. Some of them have been successful as well but the last one that took place on Saturday to throw down the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, could not be successful as thousands of government’s supporters poured onto the streets of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir to demonstrate their loyalty to Mr. Erdogan and face the military tanks and artillery face to face.
The 13-and-a-half hour drama, which at one point reduced President Erdogan to broadcasting to his nation via a mobile phone, street protests and military forces loyal to the Turkish leader suppressed the coup that left at least 265 dead.
It was a victory by the democratic government and the supporters of the government as a whole as the people did not accept the military coup and stood against it collectively. The military did not have any right to attempt to throw down the elected government. As per the democratic principles every elected government has the right to complete its tenure as per the constitution of the country. Moreover, they could also be regarded as the main reason behind the killing of those 265 people.
The Turkish authorities have now started to retaliate and punish those who were behind the coup.
They named Akin Ozturk, a former air force commander, as one of the “masterminds of the coup” alongside two army generals, Adem Huduti and Avni Angun. They also announced 6,000 people including generals had been detained in the aftermath. Arrest warrants were issued for 2,745 judges in what was widely expected to mark the start of a purge of opposition forces.
The victory of Turkey’s democratic government is really encouraging but it is important to see how it reacts to the situation. It has to be careful that the democratic principles are not violated in the thirst for retaliation. World leaders including US President Barack Obama strongly condemned the attempted putsch but also urged Turkey to respect the rule of law in its aftermath, especially after pictures emerged showing the rough treatment of some coup plotters when arrested.
It is dictatorship that adopts tyrannical methods to crush the opponents and loosens the reign of terror on the subjects. It is tyrannous for its people in many ways. There is actually a reign of fear and terror in the country. It is also an undeniable fact that dictatorship with all its characteristics is opposed to democracy. A democratic government is accountable to the people while a dictator is not accountable to anyone for his activities. He asserts his will in every matter. This is the reason that the people do not like dictatorship. Moreover, the democracy respects the rule of law and tries to implement it in every possible way; even if it has to deal with the opposition or enemies.
Dictatorship may appear to have certain advantages but they are only on the exterior, while in reality a civilized society would never prefer dictatorship. It should be noted that though a dictator may establish a temporary economic growth, peace and tranquility and unity but that will be very temporary as they are achieved through terror and violence. The national unity and integration is permanent and ever-lasting which is based upon the will of people, not on terror and violence. As soon as dictator dies, or becomes weak and loses control then the country faces chaos, unrest and political anarchy. It can be said without any hesitation that dictatorship can never be a substitute of democracy.

In a democratic country the ultimate authority lies within the people. The modern concept of state and government says that the sovereignty lies with the people. And ultimately, all the governments are answerable to the people. Moreover, to guarantee such accountability the modern states have established and strengthened their political systems in such a way that people have most of the power, though indirectly. Therefore, the democratic government must be preferred by all the people in the world. The people and leaders of the world should, thus, respect and encourage the democratic government of Turkey and also its people who, at a crucial time, stood for their government. The episode in Turkey’s political history would be remembered with golden words.