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The Irish Times view on EU-Turkey tensions: a revealing snub
Ankara insists it was a straightforward error, but many others, knowing Erdogan's obsession with status and macho one-upmanship and the quasi-monarchical trappings with which he surrounds himself, struggle to believe that. Erdogan, whose circle is male-dominated, was aware that at the meeting he would be scolded over Turkey's withdrawal from a landmark treaty on violence against women.

The fallout neatly captured the EU's larger divisions on Turkey, which have stymied efforts to present a united front in dealing with the increasingly authoritarian Erdogan. While von der Leyen had no doubt she was deliberately slighted, Michel let Erdogan off the hook by blaming the incident on a "strict interpretation" of protocol rules. Michel said he carried on the meeting to avoid causing a scene. To critics, that merely showed how Erdogan intimidates the EU.

by Bernard on Mon Apr 12th, 2021 at 02:30:26 PM EST

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