Turkey blames EU for 'sofagate' scandal

Thu 08 Apr 2021 at 15:17 International

NNA - 

Turkey on Thursday blamed the European Union for seating arrangements that left European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen without a chair during a meeting with the Turkish president.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his officials came under heavy criticism after images went viral of his Tuesday meeting with von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel in Ankara.

The room where the three leaders were hosted had only two chairs arranged next to the corresponding EU and Turkish flags.

Erdogan and Michel quickly seated themselves while von der Leyen -- whose diplomatic rank is the same as that of the two men -- was left standing.

"Ehm," she said as she spread her arms in wonder and looked directly at Michel and Erdogan.

Fulya OZERKAN

Thu, April 8, 2021, 1:01 PM

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Turkey on Thursday blamed the European Union for seating arrangements that left European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen without a chair during a meeting with the Turkish president.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his officials came under heavy criticism after images went viral of his Tuesday meeting with von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel in Ankara.

The room where the three leaders were hosted had only two chairs arranged next to the corresponding EU and Turkish flags.

Erdogan and Michel quickly seated themselves while von der Leyen -- whose diplomatic rank is the same as that of the two men -- was left standing.

"Ehm," she said as she spread her arms in wonder and looked directly at Michel and Erdogan.

Official images later showed her seated on a sofa opposite Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who said on Thursday that criticism of Turkey for the diplomatic blunder was "unfair".

"The seating arrangements were made in line with the EU suggestion. Period. We would not be revealing this fact had accusations not been made against Turkey," Cavusoglu told reporters.

"The demands and suggestions of the EU side were met and the proper protocol applied during the meeting."--AFP

 

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