From Thatcher to Merkel, ladies are not for turning
?You turn if you want to. The lady?s not for turning.?
I do not know in which context she said it, but this iconic sentence used in a speech delivered at the U.K. parliament belongs to late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Avoiding turns is a rare commodity among politicians. If you think how most politicians are male, it is striking that this sentence came from a woman. There are a lot of reasons why Thatcher was called the ?Iron Lady? - sticking to the policies she set despite heavy objections must be one of them.
Consistency is also a visible characteristic of German Chancellor Angela Merkel; at least we can say this in full confidence as far as her policy on Turkey is concerned.
Merkel has never hidden her objection to Turkey?s membership in the European Union.
But she was clever not to voice it each and every day since there was another figure, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who had volunteered to be the spokesperson for the anti-Turkey camp.
Merkel did not have to do a thing to slow down the process since France wanted to take center stage.
Merkel again cleverly used the term ?pacta sunt servanda? (Latin for ?agreements must be kept?) and said Germany would remain loyal to past promises, knowing that those promises will not be realized due to France?s active opposition.
Merkel opted to downplay her objection to Turkey?s accession to the EU not because she valued Turkey?s role on both the international and regional scene, but mainly to avoid irritating millions of Turks living in Germany.
She also valued the booming bilateral economic ties.
But when it came to international and regional issues, Merkel avoided a high level exchange of views. While...