When I saw the tweet that French President Emmanuel Macron posted in Turkish in the early hours of the morning, I too, like everyone else, did a little double-take.
I wonder what our “Little Napoleon” was trying to do?
Did he have an epiphany all of a sudden?
What happened to the man who for months now has been trying to cut Turkey off in every move it makes?
What Macron did resembles a man, who drinks like a fish day and night, finding God all of a sudden.
I am aware, if I keep on saying things like this, things are going to get a bit too “Page Six.”
However, I’m writing on an important topic, hence a more serious approach is in order.
Let’s first remember what Macron wrote in said tweet:
We sent Turkey a clear message in Ajaccio. Let’s restart responsible dialogue, in good faith and sans naivety. This call is now also the call of the European Parliament. And it looks like it’s been heard. Let’s move forward.”
He shared this in the early hours of Saturday.
Later in the evening, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also posted something on Twitter as well, which, in some circles, was interpreted as a response to Macron’s call.
“It is our intention to listen to every call that is sincerely made, to make way for diplomacy, and resolve problems where everyone can win through dialogue. We will continue to protect every drop of water in our country, every inch of land with this vision in mind.”
Yes, this might be a response to Macron, but at the same time it can be interpreted as a repeat of Erdogan’s declaration of will that he is ready to operate all channels of diplomacy, while also preserving all of Turkey’s rights.
“Move on, don’t delay”
As I was observing the reactions to Macron’s tweet on social media yesterday, I had the sudden urge to burst out laughing and yell “This is it!” when I came across a post shared by Turkey’s Ambassador to Tunisia Ali Onaner.
This is what Ambassador Onaner had to say:
“A friendly piece of advice to my school friend Macron: Move on, don’t delay, keep going!”
When I scrolled down a bit on Macron’s social media account, I became aware that he posted a shorter version of the very same tweet in French on Sept. 10.
In that post, where he referenced the Med7 summit in Corsica, he said:
“We want to restart responsible dialogue with Turkey, in good faith and sans naivety.”
What does this tell us?
It conveys that France’s president is being strategical or tactical when it comes to Turkey, and that he is not jumping the gun when acting.
In other words we can say, yes, Macron is trying to get Turkey’s attention by posting a tweet in Turkish, but if this is a strategy or tactic, then it’s nothing new.
“It’s stealing a role because it’s been isolated in the EU”
Before I started writing my article I did a little digging to assess how Macron’s tweet was received in Ankara, and asked some figures high up the food chain for information.
A top-level authority, who stated this was his personal opinion, said:
“It’s stealing roles due to its isolation in the EU and because it’s backed into a corner with Turkey’s diplomatic moves.”
Let’s elaborate in our own words on this:
It’s safe to say that Macron, by playing the Pied Piper with EU countries, failed in his attempts to so far form a joint front against Turkey.
Yes, seven Mediterranean EU countries agreed to assemble in Corsica at Macron’s call; however Macron’s attempts to to give turkey a strong ultimatum at the end of the MED7 summit did a fat lot of good.
This is where the term “stealing a role” would be banging the nail right on the head.
When things didn’t go as he planned, he then decided to steal the roles of those he was trying to persuade by standing where they currently stand.
As you know, there is a country that is extremely uncomfortable with Macron's quest to become the new leader of Europe by accentuating France's military power.
The Germans are very much aware that Macron is just using Turkey and the East Mediterranean issue as a tool, and this is exactly why they want to resolve matters with diplomacy.
In this case, we can discern that “Little Napoleon” is not just trying to steal a role from countries like Italy and Spain that border the Mediterranean, but that, at this stage, he’s trying to grab the spotlight of the bloc’s economic giant, Germany.
If that is the case, it would be bang-on to reply to Macron’s tweet, which ended in “Let’s move forward” with “Move on, don't delay.”