Turkey and the EU blamed each other on Thursday for seating arrangements without the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkish leaders have been severely criticized after the image spread in a meeting with von der Leyen and European Council Chairman Charles Michel in Ankara on Tuesday.
In the room where the three leaders were hosted, there were only two chairs placed next to the corresponding EU and Turkish flags.
Prime Minister Erdogan and Michelle sat down immediately, and Fonde Araien (whose diplomat rank was the same as the two men) remained standing.
“Well,” she said with surprise, spreading her arms, looking directly at Michelle and Erdogan.
Official images later showed her sitting on the couch opposite Turkish Foreign Minister Mebrut Chabsogur.
“The seating arrangement was in line with the EU’s proposal. Period,” he said in the first official statement by Turkish officials on the episode.
“We couldn’t reveal this fact without accusations against Turkey,” Kabsogul told reporters.
However, Michelle’s European Council said the protocol team was denied prior access to the meeting room where the three leaders first sat for the meeting.
“If the tete-a-tete room was visited, we would have suggested to the host, as a courtesy, to replace the sofa with two armchairs for the committee chair,” the protocol team said. I said in a letter. ..
The diplomatic fake was instantly branded as “Sofa Gate” on Twitter and became a major issue in the first Turkish-EU summit in a year.
After a few months of spats, the three leaders were trying to take a more positive attitude towards the relationship.
However, negotiations said European officials had accused men of expulsion in Turkey and were related to Erdogan’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention against gender-based violence.
“First they withdrew from the Istanbul Convention and now leave the European Commission president without a seat for an official visit. It’s a shame,” wrote MEP Iratxe Garcia Perez of Spain.
Many also wondered why Michelle would take a seat so quickly.
The European Council chair broke almost a full day of silence by admitting on Facebook that the episode seemed “unaware” of von der Leyen’s discomfort.
However, he and von der Leyen blamed Turkey’s “protocol failure” that was overlooked at the time.
“I decided not to make things worse by creating a scene,” Michelle wrote.
Kabsoguru called this criticism “unfair.”
“Meetings, especially in Turkey, are held within the framework of the International Protocol Rules and Turkish Hospitality,” said Mr. Kabsogul.
This episode came with a slow-blocking coronavirus inoculation effort and the leadership of the European Union, which is under increasing pressure on strains occurring among 27 member states.
Several European Parliament groups have requested an investigation into how Von der Leyen remained standing while Michelle was seated.
“The setting of this meeting does not seem to be prioritized … rather by the nativist way of men representing the dictator,” Belgian Parliamentarian Ashita Kanko officially told Michelle. I wrote it with a question.
Manfred Weber, the leader of the conservative EPP group, told Politico that his trip to Ankara has become a “symbol of disagreement” among EU officials.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for von der Leyen is drawn to speculation that this would not have happened if the Commission had sent the Protocol team to Ankara, following the example of the European Council. Refused.
“The president (von der Leyen) simply wants to analyze these questions so that he doesn’t face the same kind of questions on his next mission,” Eric Memmer told reporters.
Turkey And EU Blame Each Other In ‘Sofagate’ Scandal Source link Turkey And EU Blame Each Other In ‘Sofagate’ Scandal