It has already taken the name of “suffagate“, complete with hashtags for social media, what happened to von der Leyen in Turkey. On the other hand, the wrong committed by the Turkish president could not go unnoticed. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but also by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, towards the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, left without a chair at the reception in the Ankara Palace. The video of her standing without a dedicated or indicated place, while the two men sat down on the two almost careless central armchairs, is already the most viewed and discussed part of the summit.
“Er”, was the silent but indignant reaction of von der Leyen who with a nod wanted to ask for explanations and receive directions on where to sit. It was then assigned to you a sofa three meters away, before the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, downgrading her according to diplomatic protocol and, above all, as a woman. An episode “which the president did not like at all”, EU sources know who now accuse Michel of not having been up to the moment.
The gesture was one more reason that led von der Leyen, in his conversation with the Turkish head of state, to insist on the Istanbul Convention and respect for human rights, especially for women. The next day, outrage broke out in Brussels. “Let’s set the record straight. Someone should be ashamed of the lack of an adequate place for Ursula von der Leyen in Erdogan’s palace. The EU has signaled openness to dialogue, but we are firm on our values. Women deserve the same recognition as their male counterparts“, wrote the EPP, the main political formation in the European Parliament, in a tweet.” President von der Leyen left without a chair by Erdogan should have gone, thus also avenging Turkish women, whose rights are now under attack. Shameful attitude of Charles Michel who does not seem to have lifted a finger “, added the head of the delegation of the Democratic Party to the European Parliament, Brando Benifei.