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Updated 11 April 2021

Turkey’s chair snub riles EU chief as she defends women’s rights

The European Commission hit out Wednesday after its chief Ursula von der Leyen was left without a chair as Turkey’s president sat down for talks with her male counterpart.

Video from Tuesday’s encounter in Ankara showed von der Leyen flummoxed as Recep Tayyip Erdogan and European Council president Charles Michel took two chairs in front of the EU and Turkish flags.

“Ehm,” muttered the former German defense minister, holding out her arms in apparent exasperation.

Eventually she was seated on a sofa a little further away from her counterparts, opposite Turkey’s foreign minister — someone below her in the pecking order of diplomatic protocol.