Turkey defends bank seat for Von der Leyen | Free press

The gentlemen sit on chairs, Ursula von der Leyen on the couch: the arrangement of the chairs at a meeting of EU leaders with the Turkish president sparked discussions. Now there are attempts to explain it.

Istanbul (AP) – In the discussion about seats at the EU-Turkey meeting in Ankara, Turkey has defended itself against allegations from Brussels.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu said there were “unjust allegations against Turkey”. “A seating group has been set up in accordance with the suggestions of the EU. Period. ”The meeting was held according to international standards and“ Turkish hospitality ”.

At Tuesday’s meeting with Erdogan in the Turkish presidential palace, a large chair next to the Turkish head of state was reserved for Michel. Von der Leyen, on the other hand, was given a place on a bench a little further away. There she sat opposite Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu, who also took part in the conversation.

The European Commission was later outraged about it. A spokesman said that, from her point of view, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen should have been on an equal footing with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and EU Council President Charles Michel. Von der Leyen’s spokesman also stressed that incidents like the one in the presidential palace in Ankara should not be repeated. Michel explained the arrangement of the chairs with a narrow interpretation of the protocol rules by Turkey, but stressed that he also found the situation regrettable.

During Tuesday’s meeting with Erdogan, EU leaders discussed a possible expansion of the EU’s relations with Turkey. In addition to economic cooperation and cooperation on migration, it was also about Turkey’s withdrawal from an international agreement on the protection of women. Von der Leyen had a long discussion about it with Erdogan, the commission said.

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