The “affront” will be difficult to erase. Europe is outraged by what is already called “sofagate”. It was on Tuesday during a meeting between representatives of the European Union and the Turkish president in Ankara. They were present: Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.
Three officers, then, but only two seats. Immediately occupied by the two men, Ursula Van der Leyen found herself separated on a sofa. A bad move by Turkey according to MEP Nathalie Loiseau. “It is not a surprise, it is a clarification,” he assures. “Those who thought that we could argue with Recep Tayyip Erdogan as with any European leader will have the proof that this is not the case.”
The Turkish president “behaved like a muzzle”regrets the former minister responsible for European Affairs. “It is a Turkish version of radical political Islamism that wants to degrade women. And there it did it materially with Ursula von der Leyen.”
A “mistake” to travel to Ankara
For Nathalie Loiseau, “it was certainly a mistake that Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel went to Ankara.” “I am in favor of strong language and I am in favor of Europe being respected. And I ask Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel to react to what happened. You don’t humiliate yourself and then say it was a good visit. No, it was not a good visit ”, said the MEP again.
Faced with criticism, Turkey denounces “unfair accusations” on Thursday, stating that the arrangement of the armchairs at the center of the controversy had been suggested by the European side.