Realpolitik is not based on moral or ideological principles rather it is a system of politics that is based on “material” factors and considerations.
In global politics, countries seek closer ties with one another purely for material gains like access to natural resources, trade routes or for strategic military alliance. It is usually seen that such bonds are very weak. In case one partner is destabilized due to any given reason, the other either turns its back or seeks ways to exploit the situation to its advantage.
Whereas divine teachings stress on the need to make peace with others and “to love thy neighbor.” This approach adds an entirely different dimension to the bonds between countries or individuals. This system does not require any maneuvering as political exigencies take a backseat.
Unlike the former system, the latter promotes a fraternal bond or brotherhood. Political maneuvering based purely on circumstances and material conditions only yield temporary success, as a result of which most of the times only a handful of people are pleased and the rest almost always remain discontent. Political maneuvering only saves the day, and cannot prevent likely future catastrophes. Brotherhood, however, requires you to stand by your brother in good times and bad. In other words, one has to weather the storm with his brother.
Turkey’s concerns over the situation in Egypt stem from a similar bond that exists between the two countries. The current turmoil in Egypt is a grim reminder of the days of political upheaval in Turkey. We have gone through a similar phase in our history. Egypt is passing through a crucial phase and needs brotherly advice.
Unfortunately, some recent remarks from the Turkish side did not go down well with the Egyptian authorities and led to the expulsion of Turkish envoy from Cairo. Whatever happened between the two brotherly countries was indeed sad. It is imperative to devise a strategy to resolve the issue without wasting time.
It is high time Ankara adopted a policy that is acceptable to all the Egyptian people. It should act as a conciliator rather than a partisan.
One has to be fair enough while considering the situation in Egypt. If Ankara wants pro-Mursi elements to be part of a democratic disposition, it should also consider the valid fears expressed by the opposite camp. The anti-Mursi elements fear radicalization of an otherwise liberal Egyptian society under Mursi or his likes.
After all, this was the major factor that led to the failure of democracy in Egypt within a year. The Mursi regime tried various reforms, but what was expected was far more profound and a deep-rooted change.
True “freedom” would have pleased the Egyptians, who did not, and still do not, want that extremist mindset as the ideology governing their society.
A country can never fight extremist tendencies by adopting coercive measures. Such steps only aggravate the situation and deepen the divide. There is only one solution to this problem: Education.
Only a suitable education policy can help any country to fight extremism. Turkey could prove to be very helpful in this regard given its past experiences and current achievements. Turkey must show that Islam is a faith of freedom and democracy, that it encourages arts and science and the solution in true Islam is genuine and permanent peace, rather than conflict. It must start to do that by reconciling the two sides. Turkey is not a perfect country; but its historic intermediary role means that it has to become involved. Turkey must stand with Egypt as a brother, as a part of it; and this support should not be based on political exigencies.
Our ambassador left Egypt in an undesired political gambit, but brotherhood is never compromised by political gambits. The ties between the two countries have always remained unharmed by similar crisis in the past. The two sides should not allow the current situation harm the eternal bond. Turkey must seek to embrace all the people of Egypt and their aspirations.
- The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science.