After seating mishap, Turkey says furniture met EU's demands

By Reuters3 days ago

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ANKARA, April 8 (Reuters) - Turkey's foreign minister responded on Thursday to a diplomatic mishap in which only one of two visiting European Union chiefs were given a chair at a meeting in Ankara, saying the seating was arranged in line with the bloc's demands.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was taken aback when Charles Michel, head of the European Council, took the only chair available next to President Tayyip Erdogan at his presidential palace on Tuesday.

Video of the incident showed the first female head of the EU executive, and the only woman in the talks, briefly standing and gesturing in surprise at the two men before she sat on a couch adjacent to the main chairs.

It was broadly shared on social media and prompted backlash against Ankara over protocol and against Michel for not defending his fellow EU executive.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, the foreign minister who was seated Tuesday on another couch, said on Thursday the seating arrangement was in line with international protocol and that Turkey was being subject to “unjust accusations“.

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