Few times a simple "er ..." made history (of our microscopic chronicle).
We do not see the face of her, the President, but we hear the guttural comment.
That gentleman of Michel - after a thousand television passages you can feel it very well - enters the room without giving way to a lady (but perhaps in homage to gender equality it is now considered an "inappropriate" behavior, a discrimination) and immediately concentrates on the position of the chair.
Once seated, he begins a dance of up and down but without ever taking his butt off the pillow ("What do I get up or do I not get up? But no! Forget it").
Erdogan watches aloof with that punched boxer face he habitually displays.
Contrary to what you would expect, the Sultan of Istanbul is not lying on a huge golden throne but on a bar chair. He probably enjoys making them disappear at the last moment to see the effect it does.
Last image: the President collaborates in his distancing and resizing, sitting with a disgusted air on the extreme edge of a very long sofa.
The devil is in the details.
This skit has much greater political value than the press conference at the end of the meeting.
The broader political significance, however, does not concern relations with Turkey as much as the internal life of the European institutions. The modest episode makes us understand the jealousy and competition between different organisms that should instead cooperate and complete each other.
I dare not imagine what would have happened if the President of the European Parliament had also been there.
If it were only a competition of vanity and protagonism between presidents (as it certainly is) it would not be a problem. Our national politics lives exactly and only on this.
But in the case of Europe, we are faced with a never-completed institutional engineering construction. Where alongside the classic tripartition (parliament, government and justice) there is an additional authority that does not respond to any balancing of powers: the Council of heads of government of the member countries.
That they can block everything, even with the single veto of the smallest member nation.
What days these have been for diplomacy from around the world.
And for those in charge of protocol and ceremonial.
I attended the latter and I assure you that they imagine every possible setback and prevent any possible desire of their bosses.
A private and easily accessible bathroom, the menu without onion and garlic, a break to redo your makeup (since there have been presidents), the order in which guests must sit (based on the importance of the assignment, seniority of office, to the honors received), the title with which to address the interlocutor (especially with religious authorities, royals and the military), the arguments to avoid with dinner neighbors.
If an accident happens it is because someone wanted it.
For diplomacy the work has been double thanks to our Prime Minister who has seen fit to define Erdogan himself "dictator".
A sentence apparently escaped during a press conference but, in my opinion, meditated.
The premier wanted to introduce the problem that Western democracies (and therefore Italy) have, which must cooperate with illiberal and oppressive regimes in an attempt to reduce their authoritarianism and in the economic interest of their respective countries.
Scenario that concerns us closely, for example in Libya.
An apparently banal phrase which, however, recalls the need for a reflection of a very complicated democratic civilization. Where the considerations to be made are many and often of opposite sign.
Usually the solution is to do things and not say it.
Trocar of the world thinks Erdogan is a dictator but no one has officially said so. Also because it must then be said for dozens of his colleagues.
And in any case, one of Turkey's controversial responses also poses a real problem.
When they point out that their President was elected by popular will.
This is another very important question: today a democracy made up of which and how many aspects is defined.
By now with the means of persuasion, digital voting, hacking and computer control, the single element of the popular vote may no longer be enough.
You see how many serious things come out as a result of a ridiculous question of precedence!