Snab in EU-Turkish conference highlights gender equality issue

Brussels (AP) — The issue of gender equality is central to Brussels on Wednesday, the day after Ursula von der Reyen, one of the EU’s most powerful executives, was treated like a second-rate official during his visit to Ankara. have become.

European Commission President von der Leyen and European Council Chairman Charles Michel visited Turkey on Tuesday to meet with Turkish leader Legep Typ Erdogan, who focused on EU-Turkish relations. .. After they were led to a large room for discussions with Erdogan, television images show that only two chairs and the Turkish flag for three leaders were placed in front of the EU. I did.

Michelle and Erdogan took the chair while Fonde Araien was standing looking at both men and expressed her surprise with a disappointing gesture, “Well.” Von de Araien eventually sat on a large beige sofa away from his male opponent.

The meeting between the three leaders lasted more than two and a half hours, according to EU sources.

“The important thing is that the president should have been seated just like the chairman of the European Council and the president of Turkey,” said EU Commission spokesman Eric Mamar, von der. Ryan added that he was surprised at the arrangement.

“Still, she decided to continue in substance over the Protocol, but it should be emphasized that the President still expects the institution she represents to be treated in the required Protocol. I will prevent such an incident from happening in the future. “

He added that the Fonde Araien protocol team did not travel to Turkey with her due to a coronavirus pandemic.

There was no immediate comment from the President of Turkey or the European Council.

The diplomatic case was extensively commented on social media. European lawmaker Sophie in Tofeld posted a photo of a previous meeting between Michelle and von der Leyen’s predecessor and Erdogan. Three men are sitting next to each other in chairs.

“No, it wasn’t a coincidence. It was intentional,” Feld wrote on Twitter.

“‘Well’ is a new term for’what the EU-Turkish relationship shouldn’t be’,” said Sergei Lagodin, another member of the European Parliament, using the hashtags #GiveHerASeat and #womensrights. Ski said.

Last month, Prime Minister Erdogan withdrew Turkey from a major European treaty aimed at combating violence against women, causing criticism from EU authorities. The move was a blow to Turkey’s women’s rights movement, which says domestic violence and women’s murders are on the rise.

Von de Araien called on Prime Minister Erdogan to overturn the decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention.

“Human rights issues are indisputable. We were very clear about it. We told Turkey that it was the first internationally binding means of combating violence against women and children. I urge you to overturn the decision, “she said.

Asked if the Commission considered the case to be particularly gender-related, Mama said Fonde Araien had traveled to Ankara as president of the EU agency.

“Being a man or woman is no different from the fact that we had to be seated according to exactly the same protocol arrangements as the other two participants,” Mamer said. “She seized the opportunity to specifically address the Istanbul Games and women’s rights. I think the message sent was clear.”


Susan Fraser in Ankara and Raffkazart in Brussels contributed to the story.