One country and its rabid leader decided to give the COP26 Climate Conference held recently at Glasgow a miss. We are talking about Turkey. Its President – the infamous and wannabe caliph Recep Tayyip Erdogan is reported to have demanded royal treatment as a prerequisite to him attending the conference. Scotland and the United Kingdom, however, refused to make any such overtures to Turkey. So, an infuriated Erdogan decided to boycott the climate conference. Well, at least that’s what we were being told happened. Now, however, the whole truth has come out. And it is nothing short of delicious.
Initially, Turkey refused to participate at the COP26 climate conference because Britain reportedly failed to meet Ankara’s demands regarding security arrangements. Erdogan even went on to rant against the arrangements at Glasgow, and said, “There were security protocol standards that we had demanded for the United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow. These are standards in protocols that are always applied to us and all leaders in all visits. However, we were told that these will not be met at the last minute.”
India Given “Special Treatment” At Glasgow
But do you know what Erdogan also said? Here it is: “Then we learned that our demand that was refused, was provided for another country as an exception. This does not comply with diplomatic practices.”
Any guesses regarding the country Erdogan is painfully referring to here? It is none other than India, whose entire delegation, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was given lavish treatment in Glasgow and treated like royalty, even while other world leaders were made to travel around in shared buses and stay in hotels which many argue were below their standards.
According to a report by the Times of India, the UK, which hosted the climate summit, found itself in an awkward spot when Turkey protested against the “special treatment” accorded to one “country” — its ire was directed at India. According to the report, “With Glasgow lacking in wherewithal to host a mega global event of this scale, the UK government has urged delegations to share hotels. Likewise, buses were organised to take the heads of governments to the venue of the conference. Exceptions, however, were made for three countries — the host, the US and India. They were allowed to stay in hotels they had booked exclusively for themselves, while their leaders — Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and Narendra Modi — reached the venue on November 1 in motorcades.”
According to sources quoted by Times of India, Erdogan made his displeasure regarding the special treatment accorded to India and Prime Minister Modi is known to the UK. For a man who considers himself the caliph of the Muslim world, Erdogan was sure hurt in a big way by the respect given to PM Modi at Glasgow. Sources told TOI the Turkish leader questioned what he considered to be the privileged treatment accorded to India.
Officials, however, justified the special treatment given to India, saying it was an acknowledgement of the efforts India has lately made to shake off the “part of the problem” tag in respect of the climate crisis and to transit to among those who are seen as earnestly working for its resolution.
Turkey Embarrassed of its Grey Listing by FATF
Turkey had many reasons to not be seen on the world stage, and the special treatment given to India only aggravated the woes of Ankara. In October, the Islamic state of Turkey was placed on the “Grey List” over money laundering and terror financing by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Pakistan has been an illustrious member of the Grey List since 2018, and with Turkey on the list as well, Islamabad feels a little less lonely. Turkey’s inclusion in the list came as a major success for India and its allies that have been highlighting Turkey’s excesses.
Erdogan had no reasons to tout himself around at Glasgow. His country has been embarrassed to a great extent already. The special treatment is given to India just rubbed salt on Ankara’s fresh wounds.