For John, BLUF: Turkey sometimes wants to be part of Europe, and sometimes not. Its great city of Istambul is in Europe, as is Turkish Thrace. But, much of it is in Asia, including its Capitol, Ankara. Nothing to see here; just move along.
From The Boston Globe, by New York Times Reporters Matina Stevis-Gridneff and Carlotta Gall, 7 April 2021, 5:25 PM.
Here is the lede plus two:
If diplomacy is part theater, acted out on meticulously crafted sets, then a protocol blunder this week turned a top-level visit by European Union leaders to Turkey into high drama.To be clear, this was in Ankara, Turkey, not Brussels, Belgium.
Whether by design or by oversight, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Union’s executive arm, was left awkwardly standing as her colleague Charles Michel, the president of the council representing the bloc’s 27 members, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey took the only two available seats between the EU and Turkish flags.
“Uhm …” von der Leyen was heard saying in a video as she stood, lingering, in the grand room in the Turkish presidential palace Tuesday while Michel and Erdogan settled in their gilded seats, perfectly centered for a photo op.
The article goes on to explain that Turkey is looking to revive its bid to join the European Union, something which had once been a slow journey forever, slowed, wrongly, by the Europeans early on, when Turkey becoming part or the European Union might have made a difference. But, no, the members weren't having it.♠ Now we see a more autocratic Turkey, again pushing for entry to the EU.
I used to be supportive, but now I am one of those hesitating.
Keep in mind that current Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, quipped, while Mayor of Istanbul, “Democracy is like a tram. You ride it until you arrive at your destination, then you step off.”
Regards — Cliff
♠ For one thing, European folks hadn't gotten over 1453 AD and the fall of Constantinople, or the more recent Treaty of Lausanne, on 24 July 1923, which resulted in a population exchange, or the turmoil in the Balkins.