Turkey’s small diplomatic moves are indeed very sophisticated.
International events happened in April. Russia and Ukraine are gearing up to mobilize troops. Iran’s nuclear talks have finally restarted. ASEAN and South Korean foreign ministers have come to visit Fujian… But the most interesting thing is that Turkey staged a modern version of “Two peaches kill three men.” The small chair triggered a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the European Union.
The origin of this “sofa door” may be described by the title of a report in the “New York Times”: “Two presidents visited Turkey and only provided a chair for one man.” The two “presidents” refer to Michel, President of the European Council, and Von der Lein, President of the European Commission. Michel is a male and Von der Lein is a woman. Although they are all translated as “chairman” in Chinese, in the West, they are both presidents. In the political structure of the European Union, they are two giants on an equal footing.
The two giants’ joint visit to Turkey is mainly to try to ease the growing tension between the EU and Turkey. In the past year, Turkey and Greece have had maritime disputes and fierce quarrels with many EU countries. Turkish-European relations were once on the verge of rupture, and Turkey even threatened to open its borders and enlarge the flow of refugees into Europe. This will obviously be a nightmare in Europe.
The negotiation was a success? There seems to be progress. But an unexpected episode turned into another crisis. Because the outside world noticed that when the Turkish President accompanied Michel and Von der Lein into the conference hall, the host Erdogan naturally took a seat on the left, Michel took the lead and took a seat on the right, leaving Von der Lein on the side. She was surprised. He said “Emm…” and spread his hands, because there were only two chairs at the scene, and there was no seat for her.
The Turks did not move new chairs. In the end, the helpless Von Delane could only sit on the long sofa where the entourage was sitting next to him. Opposite him was the Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu. It may also be an expression of dissatisfaction in his heart. Instead of sitting on one side as the Turkish foreign minister, von Delaney sat in the middle of the sofa with his legs crossed.
After the “sofa door” was exposed, Turkey naturally became a target of public criticism. Because this is not the first time Erdogan has met with EU leaders. It used to be a diplomatic practice. Three people sat in a semicircle. Now they are breaking the convention and only put two chairs. Therefore, many people have concluded that the Turks must be deliberate, just want to make fun of the EU, especially von der Lein, who always talks about human rights and women’s rights.
European women leaders have been teased by Turkey. The angry Italian Prime Minister Draghi publicly accused: I regret the humiliation suffered by Von der Lein, let us call them dictators, but we need to cooperate with them… This triggered Turkey again. The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately summoned the Italian ambassador to strongly protest against the Italian Prime Minister’s “populist, ugly and unreasonable” comments.
The reason why this is the modern version of “Two peaches kill three men”, because a fire also burned to Michelle who took the seat first. Many Europeans criticized that von der Lein and him visited Turkey together, but he sat on his own and let a woman stand aside in embarrassment. He did not have a trace of anxiety or protest. Even if the Turks discriminate against women, what kind of gentleman is this? Seeing that a professor in the European Union posted a caricature, it was probably Erdogan and Michel who quickly sat down and looked at von der Lein with the attitude of watching a dancer. French populist leader Le Pen even ridiculed that this incident not only shows the disunity of the European Union, but also shows that the European Union “lay down in front of the hostile Erdogan”…
A visit that was intended to improve the relationship, the final result, because of a chair, the relationship between the two parties has worsened. Perhaps this is a diplomatic accident, but accidental is also inevitable, exposing the deep gulf between the EU and Turkey, exposing the disunity within the EU, and also bringing up the sensitive topic of respect for women. Michelle was remembered by the Europeans. Such insulting encounters, von der Lein has to remember for a lifetime. However, I have to say that Turkey’s diplomatic moves are indeed very comprehensive.