Brussels: The experience of European Commission President Ursula von Der Layne during a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sparked new discussions on gender discrimination.
Charles Michel, President of the Council of Europe, and Ursula von Der Lein, President of the European Commission, are in Ankara for a meeting with the President of Turkey. Arriving in a large room for a meeting of three people, they saw only two chairs arranged in front of the EU-Turkish flags. In one, the Turkish president sat down, and in the other, Charles Michel sat down. Ursula stared at the male leaders, who had doubled up on the total seats, and then arranged a seat on the sofa next to them.
— Sergey Lagodinsky (@SLagodinsky) April 6, 2021
Two presidents visited Turkey. Only the man was offered a chair. A protocol mishap involving Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, was cited by critics as symbolic of Turkey’s treatment of women https://t.co/RfgCcoJNkg pic.twitter.com/Zu6sFPdYJo
– Andreas Harsono (@andreasharsono) April 7, 2021
The scenes of Ursula standing in front of male leaders without getting a seat quickly conquered social media. Many people came out to criticize the incident. Many people shared the video footage under the hashtag Give her a seat.
But Michael’s team explained that everything happened according to protocol. However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat President George W. Bush’s spokeswoman Eric Manor. ‘Ursula was literally amazed at the seating arrangement as you see in the video.’ Says Eric. Eric said he had instructed his teammates not to repeat such incidents in the future.
Criticism of Michael had risen following the incident. He also pointed out that the strict adherence to the protocol was the reason for such a situation.
Ursula, however, was a little surprised at first by the seating arrangement, but did not aggravate the problem. Ursula’s protocol team had not accompanied them to Turkey in the wake of the Kovid expansion. Turkey has not yet commented on the incident.