Ecu Fee president Ursula von der Leyen blames sexism for ‘sofagate’ debacle


The Ecu Fee’s first feminine president has blamed sexism for the “sofagate” debacle in Turkey previous this month.

Ursula von der Leyen used to be left and not using a chair right through a assembly in Ankara with Turkey‘s President Tayyip Erdogan on 6 April.

Ms Von der Leyen stated that the incident handiest came about as a result of she is a girl.

Two chairs for three leaders... (L-R Charles Michel, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ursula von der Leyen)
Two chairs for 3 leaders… (L-R Charles Michel, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ursula von der Leyen)

“I will not to find any justification for a way I used to be handled, so I’ve to conclude that it came about as a result of I’m a girl,” she stated right through a speech to the Ecu Parliament previous lately.

Video photos of the assembly confirmed Ms von der Leyen visibly stunned when Mr Erdogan and Ecu Council President Charles Michel sat at the handiest two chairs in entrance of of EU and Turkey flags, forcing her to move and sit down on an adjoining settee.

She stated she “felt harm” and “by myself as a girl and as a Ecu”.

“I’m the president of the Ecu Fee, and that is how I anticipated to be handled when visiting Turkey, however I used to be no longer,” Ms von der Leyen stated.

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Von der Leyen left with out seat in Turkey talks

“This presentations how a ways we nonetheless have to move prior to girls are handled as equals – at all times and far and wide.”

Simply days after the incident, Turkey laid the blame at the EU for “unjust accusations”.

International minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated: “The protocol on the presidency met the calls for of the EU facet.

“In different phrases, the seating association used to be designed to fulfill their calls for and proposals.”

Mr Michel has been criticised by way of many EU politicians for no longer intervening on Ms von der Leyen’s behalf in Ankara.

Chatting with parliament, he expressed his feel sorry about over the location, which he stated he understood angry many ladies.

He additionally informed lawmakers that deeper financial ties with Turkey had been tricky on account of a deterioration of fundamental rights and freedoms, together with the ones of ladies.

Mr Michel in the past stated he regretted no longer intervening in a Fb submit on 7 April.

Within the submit, he stated: “Whilst realising the regrettable nature of the location, we made up our minds to not make issues worse by way of making a scene.

“At first of the assembly, we resolved as an alternative to concentrate on the substance of the political discussions, which Ursula and I had been to embark upon with our hosts.”

The assembly used to be organized as an try to restore members of the family between the Ecu Union and Turkey.

Ties between Turkey and the EU were strained for years over the arriving of migrants and lately over its force for gasoline within the japanese Mediterranean.

After the assembly, Ms von der Leyen held out hope of revising a 2016 deal below which the EU will pay Turkey to stop large-scale migrant arrivals in Greece.


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