ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey on Thursday vehemently denied allegations that Ersula von der Leyen distorted one of the EU’s most powerful executives because of her gender, claiming that her own EU protocol claims were used during a meeting in Turkey. Presidential Palace.
European Commission President von der Leyen և Council of Europe President Charles Michel met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday to hold talks on Turkey-EU relations. The guests were taken to a large discussion room with Erdogan, but only two seats for the three leaders were placed in front of the EU “Turkish flags”.
Von der Leyen stood looking at the men in the seats, expressing his surprise with a “ohm” voice, a gesture of disappointment. He was later spotted sitting on a large beige couch away from his male counterparts.
The images have been widely criticized on social media for allegations of gender discrimination.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey had been “extremely unfairly” criticized in connection with the visit, alleging that von der Leyen had been shown to be weak.
“Turkey is a country with deep roots, it is not the first time it has hosted visitors,” said Cavusoglu. “The protocol used during its (international) meetings is in line with the rules of international protocols and the traditions of world-famous Turkish hospitality.”
Çavuşo :lu claimed that the Turkish’s EU officials responsible for the initialing had met before the visit, and that the agreement was in line with EU requests.
“The protocol, which was used at a meeting of a narrow circle in the office of our President, met the requirements of the EU side. In other words, such an arrangement of seats was implemented in line with the proposals of the EU. The period, ”he said.
The Turkish minister added that he felt obliged to publicly accuse the EU, even after the accusations against Turkey from “the highest levels of the EU”.
Faced with a series of questions on the second day in a row, EU Commission Chief Eric Mammer did not comment on the Turkish authorities’ version of the incident and tried to downplay its seriousness.
“If you look at the president’s statements, what he posted on his Twitter, etc …, you will see that there is no mention of this event,” Mamer said. “Let us not exaggerate the significance we have given to this event. We will make sure that everything is clarified so that further missions can move forward in accordance with the general understanding of the protocol measures. ”
The day before, however, Mammer had said that von der Leyen was surprised by the agreement that he should be sitting with Michelle Erdogan.
Michel said that the embarrassment was the result of the “strict interpretation” of the protocol rules by the Turkish services, he regretted “the differentiated, even reduced, attitude of the President of the European Commission.” He said that the photos of the meeting gave the impression that he was “indifferent” to the situation. “Nothing could be further from the truth, or from my deep feelings, or from the principles of respect that I truly cherish,” he said.
“At the time, realizing the regrettable nature of the situation, we decided not to make the situation worse by creating a scene,” he said.
Mamer said the commission welcomes Michelle’s statement.
“It is very possible that the European Union will show unity when dealing with third country partners,” he said.
Samuel Petrekin, based in Brussels, contributed to this story.