The Turkish authorities insists that the EU was responsible for seating preparations that left European fee chief Ursula von der Leyen with out a chair throughout a high-profile assembly with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey was accused of sexist behaviour in the direction of the primary feminine head of the fee yesterday, when her EU council counterpart Charles Michel was granted a seat subsequent to Erdogan, whereas she was relegated to a close-by couch.
Ms Von der Leyen ought to have been handled the identical as Mr Michel, in line with her spokesperson, who stated the incident had “sharpened her focus” in relation to championing ladies’s rights.
On Thursday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu hit again at claims that ‘sofagate’ was a results of misogynist behaviour on the Turkish facet, claiming that “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,” Mr Cavusoglu added, referring to a late-night assertion made by Mr Michel on his Facebook web page.
That publish put the blame squarely on Ankara’s shoulders.
“Despite a clear desire to do the right thing, the strict interpretation of the protocol rules by the Turkish authorities gave rise to a distressing situation: the differentiated – even inferior – treatment accorded to the president of the European Commission,” Mr Michel posted in French.
The former Belgian prime minister added that he was “saddened” by recommendations that he was detached to the “protocol misstep”, regardless of pictures and video footage clearly displaying him taking his place subsequent to Erdogan with out a beat of hesitation.
Mr Michel provides that he solely proceeded with the assembly as deliberate as a result of “we decided not to make matters worse by creating a scene”, contradicting footage that exhibits the fee president visibly perplexed by the unfolding scenes.
Ms Von der Leyen’s predecessor, Jean-Claude Juncker, additionally waded into the scandal, telling Politico Europe that in his time within the job “from a protocol point of view, the president of the council is No. 1, and the president of the commission is No. 2″, when overseas.
“Normally I had a chair next to the chair of the president of the council, but sometimes it happened that I was sitting on a sofa,” Mr Juncker stated, insisting that “there are more important controversies” than ‘sofagate’.