Turkish and European Union Relations Sour Over Sofagate

Turkey and the European Union blamed each other on Thursday over seating arrangements as European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen was left without a chair during a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the protocol at the presidency met the demands of the EU side on the seating arrangements.

“The protocol at the presidency met the demands of the EU side. In other words, the seating arrangement was designed to meet their demands and suggestions,” he said.

The three leaders came to sit down but only two chairs were available, the two men took the two seats while European Commission President Ursula was left standing and reacted with an audible “ahem.”

“The seating arrangements were made in line with the EU suggestion. Period,” Cavusoglu said in a statement.

“We would not be revealing this fact had accusations not been made against Turkey,” Cavusoglu told reporters.

Official images later showed her seated on a sofa opposite Cavusoglu.


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