Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the agenda corresponds to the demands of the protocol employees of European officials, according to international agencies. Today, however, the Protocol Department of the European Council said it had no access to the room where the meeting was held.
The head of the Turkish diplomacy described the criticism of the meeting of European Union officials with President Erdogan as unfair. According to him, the staff of the Turkish Protocol Department fulfilled the requirements of their European Union counterparts. “In other words, this order was put in place on the recommendation of the European Union,” the minister said.
“If we visit the room in advance, we suggest the hosts to kindly replace the sofa with another seat for the chairperson,” the protocol department said in a letter, claiming that he was not able to get to the room before the meeting.
European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said on Wednesday that von der Leyen was surprised by the deployment of statesmen and that the European Commission delegation had not been informed in advance. According to him, the chairperson continued the meeting because she “prefers the content to the ceremonies.”
Footage from Tuesday’s meeting in Ankara was criticized by many European politicians. “I am very sorry for the humiliation suffered by President von der Leyen,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said today. According to him, Erdogan belongs to a group of dictators with whom we need to maintain relations. “
Three major clubs in the European Parliament – the People’s Party, Socialists and the Greens – announced today that they want Michel and von der Leyen to report on what is happening in Ankara before the plenary session. They want to include the point in the meeting to be held at the end of April.
The head of the European Parliament’s largest human faction, Manfred Weber, said the images showed the European Union’s institutions are divided. Eratex Garcia, president of the second largest club of socialists and democrats, indicated that Turkey had recently withdrawn from the Istanbul Treaty. According to other politicians, the meeting demonstrated Erdogan’s contemptuous stance towards women. Michel has also been criticized for not defending his colleague against Erdogan.
However, the highest EU bodies also differ in their assessment of the situation. European Commission spokesman Mamer said that the European Commission president enjoys the same diplomatic status as the president of the European Council. However, representatives of this institution do not agree with this, and they indicated that according to the Lisbon Treaty, it is the President of the European Council who represents the European Union in negotiations abroad. According to Charles Michel, the organization of the meeting in Ankara reflects the strict interpretation of this principle by the Turkish Protocol. He also described the situation as regrettable because it overshadowed the goals that had been achieved in the negotiations with the Turkish head of state.