According to the Austrian government, Turkey has been provoked by not having a place for Von der Leyen in Erdogan’s office

“This disrespectful treatment (…) conveys a particularly strange picture – a few days after Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul agreement – that can only be interpreted as a provocation,” MTI Caroline Edtstadler, Austrian European Affairs Minister, said: There was no chair for Ursula von der LeyenPresident of the European Commission, when European Union leaders met Turkish President Erdogan.

Ursula von der LeyenPhoto: Thierry Monas / Hans Lucas via AFP

“If the European Union shakes hands with Turkey for the sake of dialogue, it can expect a return. Equality between men and women cannot be compromised,” Edtstadler said.

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg called for naivety about Turkey. “The constant provocations and structural problems make it clear that the accession negotiations to the European Union (with Turkey) are an illusion that the European Union should not delude itself.”

In addition to Erdogan, only Charles Michel, president of the European Council, took over the chair. Von der Leyen had to sit on the sofa.

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