FIGAROVOX / TRIBUNE – No seat had been scheduled for the President of the Commission alongside the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. An attitude consistent with the contempt displayed by the Turkish president for a pusillanimous Europe, analyzes Céline Pina.
Former local elected, Céline Pina is an essayist and activist. She is the founder of “Viv (r) e la République”, she has also published Guilty Silence (Kero, 2016).
The photo is cruel, but it says it all about the misunderstanding between Europe and Turkey. We see two men, the Turkish President and the President of the European Council, Charles Michels quietly seated opposite in front on two armchairs, surrounded by the flags of Turkey and Europe, while the President of the European Commission is relegated to a sofa, in a lower seat. Staging all the more significant as other photos show meetings where the two European male officials at the time surrounded Erdogan with equal treatment. A staging without ambiguity in both form and substance in the face of which we can only remain astonished to see the president of the committee submit as her European friend without the idea of reacting crossing their minds. To this photo, the administration of the European Union gave a name: the suffagate. A name that sweetens a reality, however. Erdogan did not make a mistake or a mistake, he took a political act consistent with his behavior towards Europe. He willfully humiliated her and told her what he thinks of her principles and her sovereignty, portraying the Islamist power and its legitimacy to refuse to grant women equality, and even respect. He does so even though he needs an ally at a time when the United States threatens him with economic sanctions and when he is weakened at the national level. We could not better signify the disdain that the Sultan of Ankara has for the political weakness of Europe. From a strictly pragmatic point of view, events do not prove him wrong.
Ursula von der Leyen and her little gallant colleague from the European Council had the answer they had come to seek since it appears that the question of Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on violence against women was one of their major concern. Obviously she should stay that way. Brussels in the process warned Ankara that human rights were not negotiable. Suddenly the Turkish president decided to do without it, not intending to stop massacring the Kurds or to stop persecuting his opponents. But after all, perhaps the European leaders left satisfied and we should, on the contrary, salute the efforts of one who sees himself as the successor to the abortive caliphate of the Islamic State. Indeed, for President Erdogan, a woman’s place is in a bedroom or in a kitchen, there she still has the right to the living room and the sofa.
Erdogan did not make a mistake or a mistake, he took a political act consistent with his behavior towards Europe.
It appears that the meeting lasted two hours. Enough to drink the chalice to the dregs. The problem is that if you have a stomach, using it for courage would be more appropriate. Europe has the means to turn down Erdogan’s cackle, who knows how to keep a low profile when the wind blows. But not when the action comes down to a communication which would like to imitate the rolling of thunder, when it only sets in motion the prayer wheels of sterile indignation.
SEE ALSO – Ursula Von der Leyen deprived of chair in Ankara
We would also like to hear the so light and transparent Charles Michels, of whom we can hardly remember the slightest fact of glory or skill other than in the service of his own career. Obviously he is not bothered by the devaluing choice of Erdogan, as long as there is a chair for him … The image that this pitiful incarnation of Europe gives is devastating. This has just failed on vaccination, it will leave traces. When we see the absence of any political reflex linked to the establishment of an external balance of power demonstrated by the representatives of Europe, we can only worry about what will be the end of the crisis. while the economic crisis will combine with the social and political crisis. The international crisis in gestation by adding in the fear of the people. And faced with this disturbing picture, what does the face of Europe show us? Weakness of incarnation, inability to react.
The funniest thing if one can say is that the purpose of this visit was to renew diplomatic relations. Now we know how President Erdogan sees them: brings him the boots, Europe the shoe polish. In the end it is she who pays and it is he who has the boots that shine. The symbolism is disastrous for Europe, but at least it speaks of reality: Europe is a power whose political weakness is impacting the countries that make it up. It is one of the rare collectives politically weaker on the international scene that each of its members taken one by one.
This photo highlights the naivety of these people who believe that they are governing and are just small managers. They have been manipulated like children by a politically savvy president who is unafraid of violence and sees war and tension as a form of regeneration. Between Turkey and Europe, the gap is immense. Between a Turkey which is returning to archaic and tribal political forms, uniting religious totalitarianism and political violence in the exercise of power and a post-modern Europe unable to find the strength to influence the international scene, for want of political existence in the eyes of the peoples who compose it, one wonders what dialogue can be engaged today. One believes only in strength and dreams of recreating an Ottoman Empire, the other has no more momentum, no more projects and what we have just seen does not even have a head. Worse, even the press release which follows this snub adds further ridicule. To explain her passivity, President Van der Leyen would have decided “To give priority to the substance”. Besides the perfectly obscure side of the sentence, is there someone to explain to him that, when one is received like that, there is no longer any substance, even less matter or priorities? When someone allows themselves to treat you like that, they put their terms down. He does not negotiate, he imposes and does not even leave to communication the possibility of dressing a degradation in muscular exchange of points of view.
The image was shocking because it is revealing of the downgrading of Europe and the contempt displayed and perfectly assumed for the Turkish president, yet in a bad economic position.
When the staging of the Europe-Turkey meeting ends with the humiliation of Ursula von der Leyen, it is already embarrassing. But what is becoming dangerous today is the feeling that the Muslim brother Erdogan has of being able to afford everything because Europe is ready to cede everything to him. Between his blackmail to migrants and his little music about the fact that the population of Turkish origin living in Europe remains subservient to him and is not integrated into his vast majority, he is playing a dangerous game, suggesting that he has the means. to destabilize European countries whose universal principles and democratic reality it vomits. By their passivity and their lack of dignity, our European representatives seem to have understood it perfectly and do not seem to agree with it. However, the time has come for disunity, division, separatism, within societies, between countries, between new ideologies … A pusillanimous Europe, submissive and without real existence on the international level, while heavy tensions which the world will work for a long time, has no future. However, Europe also has assets, which it does not exploit, wasting its time organizing competition on its own soil, playing life-size at reproducing the economic theory of free trade. This is obviously not what makes emerge a people or a political conscience. And in terms of economic prosperity, it turns out that for a good forty years, daily life has been getting harder, no matter what successive government speeches, just as the future of the middle class has continued to shrink, as its number besides. The image was shocking because it is revealing of the downgrading of Europe and the contempt displayed and perfectly assumed for the Turkish president, yet in a bad economic position. Of the need to abandon the ideology of soft power and competition between Nations. To exist politically, Europe must be an alliance, at all levels. This new alliance has to be forged. But seeing the President of Europe uttering a little strangled squeal, showing that the situation has not escaped her, to go and sit down modestly crossed and tight legs on the low sofa, we say to ourselves that we do not has decidedly not the political staff up to the stakes.