“We are here because a chair was missing for Ursula von der Leyen,” said a protester.
A few dozen women gathered in front of the Turkish embassy in Paris in solidarity with Ursula von der Leyen in the face of "the arrogance" and "lack of courtesy" of the Turkish leaders.
The head of the European Commission was placed on a couch on Tuesday by the protocol during a meeting with Turkish Head of State Recep Tayyip Erdogan and European Council President Charles Michel, which caused much resentment but also friction in Brussels.
Turkey defended itself against any affront by blaming the incident on a problem of protocol between EU institutions.
The scene was filmed and widely shared on social media.
Under the hashtag #Sofagate, it prompted many comments on the unequal treatment between the two heads of the European institutions and on its sexist character.
"Sofagate": five minutes to understand this European diplomatic incident
“It was important in a very simple way, to express our sorrow at this lack of respect both for women and for Europe, since Ursula von der Leyen represents all of Europe in this situation.
And in addition we found it to be arrogant and a lack of courtesy, so if you're macho, at least be courteous, ”explains Maria Lund, organizer of the event.
French Secretary for European Affairs Clément Beaune hammered on Sunday that the "affront" made to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen during a visit to Ankara was a "deliberate" act, a "trap" of Turkey .
"It is an affront on the part of Turkey", he declared in the program "Le Grand Jury" of the RTL / Le Figaro / LCI media, dismissing the thesis of an error in European protocol.