BRUSSELS: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was taken aback to uncover her fellow major EU official having the only chair out there upcoming to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan when the duo frequented Ankara, and her spokesman produced that apparent on Wednesday.
Footage from their meeting on Tuesday confirmed the first female head of the EU govt, the only lady in the talks, gesturing in disbelief and uttering a astonished sigh as Erdogan and European Council President Charles Michel took the two centre-phase seats geared up, relegating her to an adjacent sofa.
“The president of the Fee was evidently surprised,” reported the EU govt arm’s spokesman, Eric Mamer.
“The president (von der Leyen) really should have been seated in just the similar fashion as the president of the European Council and the Turkish president.”
The Turkish government did not immediately answer to a ask for for comment. A member of the European parliament, Sophie in ‘t Veld, questioned why Michel experienced not reacted.
In Fb put up on Wednesday, Michel said the incident was “regrettable” and caused by “Turkish authorities’s stringent interpretation of protocol policies.” But he stated he made the decision towards a general public confrontation.
Although the Fee conveyed von der Leyen’s discomfort, an EU formal who declined to be named reported accomplishing so could possibly have provoked a “protocol and political incident.”
“Turkey meant no disrespect,” the formal reported. “It extended a incredibly courteous welcome to both of those presidents and strictly adhered to intercontinental protocol.”
In the past, a few chairs had been supplied when the Turkish leader frequented Brussels for talks with heads of the Commission and the European Council.
Mamer explained von der Leyen made the decision not to make “an issue out of it” and in the discussion brought up women’s legal rights and the Istanbul Convention on violence from girls, from which Turkey withdrew very last month.
Brussels and Ankara are testing a careful rapprochement soon after ties were strained when a coup try in 2016 prompted a crackdown on civil rights in Turkey.