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Scandal at Erdogan's meeting - video shows Von der Leyen's reaction to the seating arrangements

2021-04-09T04:07:43.946Z

It's the small gestures that often say more than a thousand words. In any case, the seating arrangement at the meeting with Erdogan caused criticism on social media.



It's the small gestures that often say more than a thousand words.

In any case, the seating arrangement at the meeting with Erdogan caused criticism on social media.

Update from April 8, 2:18 p.m.:

The two largest groups in the European Parliament have requested a plenary debate on the “SofaGate” affair - how to deal with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during a visit to Turkey.

The conservative EPP and the Social Democrats demanded on Thursday that von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel be invited to parliament at the end of April.

The affair, christened “SofaGate”, sparked massive criticism and allegations of misogyny against the Turkish government.

Relations with Turkey are "essential", said the social democratic group leader Iratxe García Pérez.

“But the unity of the EU and respect for human rights, including women's rights, are also central.” Von der Leyen and Michel should therefore clarify in parliament “what happened and how the institutions are to be respected”.

The debate with the two presidents should also provide information about what Erdogan was offered in Ankara, said EPP parliamentary group leader Manfred Weber (CSU).

The EPP Group was "extremely concerned" that there could have been promises to facilitate visas for Turkish citizens or to expand the customs union, "without concrete and permanent changes in Turkish policy in the Eastern Mediterranean, towards Cyprus and our external borders".

“SofaGate”: Turkey defends itself against allegations after von der Leyen's visit to Erdogan

Update from April 8, 11.42 a.m.:

Turkey defended itself against the allegations from Brussels due to the seating arrangement.

There were "unjust allegations against Turkey," said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu on Thursday.

“A seating arrangement was set up in accordance with the suggestions made by the EU.

Period. ”The meeting was held according to international standards and“ Turkish hospitality ”.

After the meeting in Ankara, the EU Commission criticized the seating arrangements.

A spokesman said that, from her point of view, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen should have been placed on an equal footing with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and EU Council President Charles Michel.

Von der Leyen's spokesman also emphasized that incidents like the one in the presidential palace in Ankara should not be repeated.

Michel explained the seating arrangement with a narrow interpretation of protocol rules by Turkey, but emphasized that he had also found the situation to be regrettable.

Update from April 8, 9:34 a.m.:

On social media one wondered how the unequal distribution of seats could come about.

A video there documents the curious situation.

After the talks, von der Leyen, Erdogan and Michel wanted to take a seat in another room.

However, there were only two chairs, as the video on social media shows.

Turkish President Erdogan and EU Council President Michel took their seats there and apparently left von der Leyen standing there.

The EU Commission President reacted with an "Um" to the unusual scene and finally took a seat on a sofa at the edge, together with the Turkish Foreign Minister.

First report from April 7th, 2:07 p.m .:

Ankara - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan * and EU leaders met in Ankara.

A delicate conversation.

A restart of a relationship is in the room.

There is also a lot of money involved.

Financial aid for refugees from Syria in Turkey.

Further conflicts are to be averted.

Turkey: seating arrangements at Erdogan's - President on the sofa

The seating arrangement at the meeting with Erdogan caused irritation and criticism on social media.

While a large chair was reserved for EU Council President Charles Michel next to the Turkish head of state, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was assigned a seat on a sofa some distance away from Erdogan and Michel during the conversation on Tuesday.

There she sat across from the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu, who also took part in the conversation.

Among other things, it was reminded on Twitter that the former EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was allowed to sit at eye level at meetings with Erdogan.

The Green Bundestag member Cem Özdemir commented: “Such signs are set by authoritarian oppressors & machos like #Putin, #Erdogan & Co deliberately.

(...) If you can put up with it, you don't have to.

In any case, you don't get respect from men like that! "

Turkey: meeting at eye level - EU refers to protocol-based hierarchy

The EU Commission pointed out that von der Leyen had used the meeting with Erdogan to hold a long and very open discussion with him about women's rights and Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention for the Protection of Women and Children from Violence respectively.

Initially, however, there was no open criticism of the seating arrangement.

One reason is that Michel, as President of the European Council, is above the EU Commission President in the protocol order of precedence.


At the meeting with Erdogan on Tuesday, EU leaders wanted to explore a possible expansion of relations with Turkey.

The background to this is the decisions of the EU summit one and a half weeks ago.

With him, the EU heads of state and government had agreed to gradually expand relations with Turkey again.

With this decision, the EU wants to avert the escalation of further conflicts.


In terms of migration policy and especially in the context of the migration deal concluded with Ankara in 2016, the EU is counting on Turkey as a partner in order to prevent refugees from continuing to travel to Europe.

Last year, the dispute between Greece and Turkey over Ankara's controversial natural gas research in the eastern Mediterranean had come to a dangerous point.

The EU threatened Turkey with severe sanctions in December.

Ankara later ended the controversial gas exploration and signaled readiness to talk.

(dpa / afp) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA

List of rubric lists: © Dario Pignatelli / dpa

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2021-04-09

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