Draghi’s outburst about the Turkish president was part of the prime minister’s comment on the “chair incident” when European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was left without a seat during three-way talks in Ankara with President Erdogan and Charles Michel.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has dubbed Turkish President a “dictator”, when asked about Ursula von der Leyen’s “humiliation” at the negotiations in Ankara earlier this week.
“I absolutely do not agree with Erdogan’s behaviour towards President von der Leyen … I think it was not appropriate behaviour and I was very sorry for the humiliation von der Leyen had to suffer. One has to be frank with these – let’s call them what they are – dictators, with whom one nonetheless has to co-operate when expressing different visions and opinions,” Draghi told reporters.
The incident, which has already been nicknamed “sofagate” on social media, occurred during the recent meeting in Ankara between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and two top EU officials – European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The two men occupied the two available chairs, leaving von der Leyen with no option other than to take a seat on the sofa.