Since the foundation of the Egyptian state, a parliament and a president were democratically elected through a popular vote for the first time. So, the U.S. did not need to bomb its way to "democracy" in a country since the Egyptians had managed it themselves. However, this democratically elected government, whose legitimacy was beyond doubt, was deposed even before its first anniversary. General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who staged the coup, became the new president, turning Egypt into a military dictatorship again. Sissi had 2,000 civilian demonstrators killed, imprisoned more than 1,000 politicians and recognized the Muslim Brotherhood, who refuse any kind of armed fight on principle, as a terrorist organization.
The U.S., which also lists Hamas - which came to power through democratic elections approved by international observers, as a terrorist group - provided as much aid as possible to Egypt's coup regime while it withheld any kind of help during deposed President Mohammed Morsi's reign. Various military aid such as providing aircrafts are about to be granted.
Since its foundation, Saudi Arabia has been ruled by an oppressive and totalitarian regime. This regime forbids women from drive cars, destroys the tombs of the Prophet Mohammad's companions since it comes from a Salafi tradition just like the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), has some unresolved and ambiguous relations with al-Qaida, probably provides arms and monetary aid to al-Nusra Front and even has decapitation in its penal code.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is blocking the ways for Muslim countries whenever they resort to democratic methods, also mentions the importance of eradicating the ideological sources of ISIS. The same Kerry also said that Sissi restored democracy in Egypt. By the way, we all remember how the U.S. bombed their way to democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So, does the U.S., who has not supported any "mild" democratic struggle in the Islamic world so far, have the right to be surprised over the emergence of anti-democratic and radical terrorist organizations such as ISIS?
The U.S. promises to end ISIS in collaboration with the two dictatorial regimes mentioned above and targets Turkey just because it does not get involved in this game, follows its own agenda and gives primary importance to its national interests.
Since we live in an area enriched by Sufi traditions and have a 60-year-old democratic experience despite some poor practices and interventions, the number of those joining the organizations such as ISIS from our country are much less than from other Muslim countries. But many international media outlets, especially some media in the U.S., still continue to release news accusing Turkey of various charges. Instead of analyzing the causes leading to the formation of ISIS, the Turkish government is slammed simply because it does not give support to the military part of the U.S. strategy, of which possibility to succeed is highly questionable, for quite valid reasons such as the issue of the 49 Turkish hostages held by ISIS.
Abdurrahim Boynukalın from the Yeni Şafak daily also mentioned some of the manipulative news from the press in the U.S., which has not achieved the result it wished since the March 1 incident when the Turkish Parliament rejected a motion which would have authorized the government to deploy U.S. troops in Turkey and to send Turkish troops to Northern Iraq before the beginning of the Iraq war.
For instance, during that period, some media outlets such as CNN, Businessweek and CBS alleged that Saddam Hussein seized billions of dollars in a project actually required to be made for the U.N. According to the claims, he was hiding almost all the money in Turkey. Of course this claim turned out to be false just like the claim that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.
While the U.S. was invading Iraq, Turkey was declared a Saddam proponent since it made an independent decision. And now, as the U.S. has decided to return to Iraq, Turkey is shown as an ISIS supporter just because it continues to act independently.
If the U.S. is determined to exterminate the ideological sources of ISIS, it could start with supporting democracy movements in Muslim countries.
About the author
Hilal Kaplan is a journalist and columnist. Kaplan is also board member of TRT, the national public broadcaster of Turkey.