Updated April 28, 2021 at 5:40 pm
- After serious allegations by Ursula von der Leyen in the affair of “Sofagate”, Turkey has now spoken out.
- A spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs denied the criticism, saying that the situation is not a result of intention.
The scandal regarding the seating arrangement has nothing to do with von der Leyen’s role as a woman, being European or withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention, Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic in Ankara said on Wednesday. “There is no point in looking for intent or malice in this case.”
The problem arose from the European Union’s “lack of planning and carelessness”. “We hope that the EU bodies will build consensus among themselves and this will not cause similar problems elsewhere.”
Von der Leyen criticized Turkey in EU parliament
Von der Leyen made serious allegations against Turkey in the European Parliament on Monday, saying that according to her office she was not treated because she was a woman. The head of the European Union Commission also criticized Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention for the Protection of Women.
During the visit in early April, only EU Council President Charles Michel was allowed to sit in a chair next to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Like the Turkish Foreign Minister, von der Leyen had to sit on a couch. This phenomenon became known as “Sofagate”. (dpa / thp)