Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s high-level assembly with EU leaders in Ankara on Tuesday rapidly resulted in what the media dubbed “the couch door”, European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, not having had a seat and having to take a seat on a distant couch. .
Social media customers have been quick to blame the Turkish authorities of misogyny or a deliberate snub as Erdogan sat subsequent to EU Council President Charles Michel on the entrance of the room.
Von der Leyen awkwardly stood and appeared to go searching earlier than discovering a spot on a settee a number of toes away from him.
Nonetheless, a number of Turkish officers interviewed by Center East Eye denied accountability for the “blundering president”, saying it was all of the EU delegation’s fault.
‘Give him a seat’: anger as European Fee president walks away from assembly in Turkey
They blamed a rivalry throughout the EU, between Michel and von der Leyen, who’re usually seen as equivalents throughout the Union.
A senior Turkish official stated Michel’s employees had agreed on presidential seats forward of the go to. “Nonetheless, there was no consultant of von der Leyen’s group,” the official stated. “So we did not get their recommendation.”
A second senior Turkish official stated each association throughout the go to was made in collaboration with EU officers who visited the nation forward of the summit.
Turkish officers have been fast to attempt to make up for it in entrance of the President of the European Fee.
The federal government reportedly supplied the EU delegation a distinct seating association over lunch: Erdogan would sit proper throughout from Michel and von der Leyen. Nonetheless, Michel’s group reportedly rejected the provide, and Michel alone sat throughout from Erdogan, with von der Leyen once more to the aspect.
“Michel’s group solely agreed to present von der Leyen a seat of the identical top and sort,” stated the primary senior official.
European Union officers didn’t reply to MEE’s requests for remark.
European Fee spokesman Eric Mamer instructed media on Wednesday that von der Leyen was bowled over by the incident, however selected to prioritize issues of type or protocol on substance.
“It isn’t my job to attempt to decide what’s behind the truth that we supplied him one kind of seat over one other,” he stated.
Politico reported Wednesday that Michel’s group believed the whole lot was working based on protocol, as Michel was increased within the diplomatic pecking order, apparently confirming studies from Turkish officers. Nonetheless, von der Leyen’s spokesperson insisted that she ought to have been seated in precisely the identical method because the President of the European Council.
An EU official instructed Politico that “the Turks didn’t search to impress an incident, they revered protocol and so did we.”
Both method, Turkish officers can be angered by the couch fiasco as they sought higher relations and good photograph alternatives with senior Brussels officers, whereas additionally looking for widespread floor on the refugee deal. , customs union and different issues.
“It’s a downside of their very own making,” stated a 3rd official. “They even introduced their very own inside wrestle to Ankara. They need to have organized this journey higher.”