In the video, an awkward moment in Ankara, von der Leyen seems unsure of where to sit, take his right hand and say “uh” as Erdogan and Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, take their seats.
Von der Leyen was eventually offered to sit on a nearby sofa, opposite Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who held a lower position in the diplomatic protocol.
In the previous meeting, the three presidents sat together.
Eric Mamer, the European Commission’s chief spokesman, said von der Leyen was “clearly surprised and that’s what you can see in the video.” One type of seat instead of another, that̵7;s what you have to ask the Turkish authorities.
Mamer said Turkey was responsible for organizing the meeting.
He added that when it comes to “The Commission’s view overseas, what I can say is that our President’s protocol level is exactly the same as that of the President of the Council of Europe, our President is a member of the Council of Europe. In her own right, and usually when she goes abroad, she is treated the same way that the President of the European Council would be. “
CNN has contacted both the EU Council and the Turkish president for comment.