Draghi’s remarks came after EU Commission head von der Leyen was not properly seated during her visit to Ankara.
Turkey has condemned Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi for accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of humiliating European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and calling him “dictator”.
Von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel met Erdogan in Ankara on Tuesday.
The committee head was clear shocking when the two of them took the only two seats that had been prepared.
Erdogan and Michel quickly took their seats while von der Leyen, whose diplomatic rank was the same as the two men, remained.
Official photos later showed her sitting on the sofa across from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
“I am very unhappy about the humiliation suffered by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen,” said Draghi, former head of the European Central Bank (ECB).
“With these dictators, let us call them what – however necessary – one must honestly express his or her different ideas and views on society.”
‘Rude and ugly remarks’
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday summoned the Italian ambassador to Ankara to condemn the comments.
According to a State Department statement, the ambassador was told that Draghi’s remarks went against the spirit of the Turkish-Italian alliance.
The ministry said Draghi should “immediately” withdraw “his brazen and evil remarks”.
Foreign Minister Cavusoglu also stressed the comments in a tweet.
He wrote on Twitter: “We strongly condemn the unacceptable, unacceptable speech of the Italian Prime Minister Draghi and his vicious and uncontrolled comments about the president-elect of we.