Home World News 'Sofagate': Snowball EU-Turkey diplomacy scandal | European Union News

‘Sofagate’: Snowball EU-Turkey diplomacy scandal | European Union News


Anger intensified after male leaders photographed chairs, leaving von der Leyen with curtains standing before being led out onto the sofa.

European Union lawmakers on Thursday urged two top bloc officials to explain a stoned diplomacy scandal that caused European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen to leave without a seat. at recent talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The rage – known as “softagate” online – has sparked a series of accusations of Ankara’s attitudes towards women and the EU, gender discrimination in Brussels and internal political controversy between institutions. of blocks.

It all focused on an awkward moment at the start of talks between von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and Erdogan in Ankara on Tuesday.

While the two male leaders sat in only two chairs, a veiled von der Leyen remained before being led to a nearby sofa.

“The EU-Turkey relationship is very important. But EU unification and respect for human rights, including women’s rights, are also key, ”said Spanish MEP Iratxe Garcia Perez, head of the Social & Democratic Party group in parliament. , write on Twitter.

She said she asked for a chat with Von der Leyen and Michel “to clarify what happened and how to respect the institutions of the EU”.

That call was echoed by the leader of the conservative European People’s Party MP, Manfred Weber, who told Politico news site that the trip to Ankara has become “a symbol of disunity” among top EU official.

The meeting with Erdogan comes at a delicate time as the EU and Turkey are looking to rebuild relations rocked by the renewed tensions last year.

Von der Leyen, the first female leader of the European Commission, highlighted Brussels’ concerns about women’s rights after Erdogan withdrew from the Istanbul Convention on preventing violence against women and children.

Her spokesperson emphasized the diplomatic spoofing but said she had been trying to resolve the conundrum of Ankara rather than stepping out of the meeting.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu denied responsibility from Ankara and said the seating arrangements had been made “in line with the EU proposal. Stage = Stage. “

Michel drew attention in Brussels for apparently disapproving of his colleague and was willing to take the only seat that was available.

In a Facebook post, he emphasized “nothing further than my deepest reality or emotion” and said that the “unfortunate” scene was caused by a mistake in Turkish protocol.

The scandal has drawn complaints from across Europe over what is seen as the latest example of EU foreign policy efforts that have failed.

“These are memorable images. I don’t want an innocent Europe, ”said France’s European minister, Clement Beaune.

“We are dealing with interlocutors who know the value of icons. We have to be much more stable ”.



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