Ankara blames “sofagate” on EU bodies – rts.ch

Turkey denounced Thursday of “unfair accusations”, after a protocol quack during a visit of the president of the European Commission in Ankara. She rejects the responsibility of this “sofagate”, as social networks have called it, on the European side.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was placed on a couch on Tuesday by the protocol during a meeting of the presidents of the EU institutions with the Turkish head of state Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, which caused a controversy and a lot of resentment in Brussels.

The scene was filmed and widely shared on social media. Under the hashtag #Sofagate, she sparked many comments on the unequal treatment between the two heads of the European institutions, and its sexist character.

>> Read: Controversy in Brussels after an affront to Ursula von der Leyen in Ankara

>> Listen also to the subject of La Matinale:

Seating arrangement “at the request of the EU”

“The requests of the EU were respected. This means that the seating arrangements were made at their request. Our protocol services met before the meeting and their requests (from the EU) were respected,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a press conference in Ankara.

“The accusations against Turkey are unfair. Turkey is a deeply rooted state and this is not the first time that we have welcomed foreign dignitaries,” he added, adding that Turkey felt obliged to do so. this focus in the face of “the accusations against her”.

This apparent affront has sparked indignant reactions in Europe, implicating Turkey. Especially since it came just a few weeks after Ankara’s withdrawal from a European convention on the prevention of violence against women.

>> Read: Turkey quits convention on violence against women

European Parliament deplores “disunity”

The major political groups in the European Parliament deplored on Thursday the image given on Tuesday in Ankara by the presidents of the institutions and asked them to come and explain themselves in plenary.

“The meeting in Ankara of Presidents von der Leyen and Michel should have sent a message of firmness and unity of the European approach towards Turkey. Unfortunately, it was translated into a symbol of disunity ( …) We expect more from Europe’s foreign policy “, deplored the German Manfred Weber, president of the Group of the European People’s Party PPE (pro European right).

afp / oang

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