CAIRO — The opposition crowd packing Tahrir Square began to celebrate long before the news of the “coup” reached the square and polarized the world between those who said it was a “coup” and those who didn’t. A young man asked me where I was from, and when I said, “Turkey,” he got the crowd chanting “Turkey, Turkey.” I also came across those intriguing pro-Turkey chants after the coup was announced. Unlike Turkey, Qatar was the target of anger at Tahrir. The people there had not identified Ikhwan with the Justice and Development Party (AKP), as many did in Turkey, at least not before Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s diplomatic efforts against the coup were revealed in Cairo. If nothing else, the crowd remembered that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had once recommended secularism to Ikhwan. And Mohammed Morsi’s Islamist agenda was one of their grievances. Plus, people are more or less able to make a distinction between a country and its government.
Erdogan: Nasr City’s hero