Turkish President Erdogan has not received the President of the European Commission as it should, the committee says.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was also visibly displeased when she was fobbed off in Ankara on Tuesday with a seat to the side on the sofa. Erdogan and von der Leyen’s travelling companion Charles Michel got seats next to each other.
Erdogan should have given Von der Leyen an “exactly as” prominent seat, says a committee spokesman. The committee chairman was “clearly surprised”, according to the spokesman, but decided to continue the conversation she wanted to have with the Turkish President. She addressed women’s rights, among other things.
Images of the reception show that von der Leyen initially has to stand while Erdogan and chairman of the council of EU government leaders Charles Michel take a seat in the space centre. She calls attention to this with an emphatic “ehm”. Moments later, she is sitting on the couch opposite Erdogan’s foreign minister.
The committee itself will not bring up the issue, the spokesman said. “This should not overshadow the content of the journey.” However, the committee is examining how a situation like this can be prevented in the future.