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Such lovely photos from the meeting between the leaders of the European Union and the sultan!
She had hesitated between wearing the official outfit of the sultana or wrapping herself in the national colors of the Turkish flag. Finally, she chose the red and white flag and kowtowing. He, in serious suit, with a freshly clipped mustache and stupid smile as circumstances dictated, did not budge when it came to sitting next to the Reis while the lady was relegated to a couch, for the “talks”. Business is discussed between men and respecting protocole rules… we are told.
Charles Michel and Ursula van der Leyen had probably set this meeting with Erdoğan between two meetings with European lobbyists. Listening to them, this was about dispelling misunderstandings.
Because of course, she/they grabbed the microphones for a debriefing following their exit from the meeting rooms.
Not pleased, Dame Europe said, concerning Erdoğan’s decision to exit the Istanbul Convention. One has to wonder why no one heard her when Turkey was still a part of it and flouting the treaty on a daily basis. Feminicides, hundreds of children in prison with their mothers, no doubt the lady in red and white considered these to be domestic issues. Not pleased, but ready to open a new road with Turkey. That tease of an Erdoğan, surely he will return to the Convention, no? That would be such a great step forward.
As for Mister Europe he spoke about values, human rights, a common foundation, repeating the diplomatic talk one uses when visiting a despot, the same way you remove your shoes before entering the room.
So why the dickens did they make the trip?
Hard to say which of the two, Erdoğan or the European representatives, were in the greatest hurry.
A few clues, perhaps?
Turkey is in need of money. Erdoğan would like to make fresh use of that business of joining the Union, that his ex-friend Gülen had suggested as a means to muddying the electoral waters and attracting a few money men. Obtaining a public agreement might allow to lower pretension in Greece and in France. Behaving like a lamb with the EU as an opening gambit in order to re-open the phone connection with the American president. And finally, for Erdogan, showing that when the EU comes knocking at his door, he decides who sits where, who discusses what, thus displaying his important regional status. And one must not forget discussions on border tariffs and the question in abeyance concerning the suppression of visas for Turkish nationals…In short, from his perspective, there were many benefits to this so-called reconciliation, prepared during a visio-conference last March 19.
Oddly enough, Turkey’s media compliant to the orders of the Reis don’t talk much about this meeting.
One must not forget either the backroom discussions these past few months at the Council of Europe nor the sinister joke called “action plan for human rights” with euros provided for it, while arrests of opponents, elected members, journalists increase and the HDP is threatened with disappearance as an organized opposition force. This time, on March 26 last, the European Council agreed to the renewal of the 2016 deal on migrants.
So that’s it!
Fortress Europe needs to prepare its economic re-opening, the relaunching of businesses. Some of its governments, and not among the least of them, also have upcoming elections. No one would be pleased to see a fresh arrival of migrants at the table.
Because this beautiful Europe, turned xenophobic, is quite willing to look away from the consequences of Turkey’s aggressions all around its borders, in Syria and beyond, but it will never take responsibility for the exiles resulting from them, just as it refuses to bear the destructive consequences of the in its ex colonial conquests. “No migrants allowed, this is our house!”
So providing euros, no matter how costly, in a deal on migrants that evens out the number of drownings in the Mediterranean and the numbers of cheap laborers kept in Turkey, are matters both urgent and essential for Mr. And Mrs. Europe. Especially since this further lowers labor costs for European investors in delocalized factories…
Wow! All that? Yes, I must admit, you find all kinds of things if you scratch below the surface.
At least, that’s what I understood from the lovely photos. To be continued…
Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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