12:14 GMT18 April 2021
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    While some netizens have criticised the way von der Leyen was treated during the meeting, others have cracked jokes instead.

    A somewhat awkward scene played out 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 – when it came to the seating arrangements.

    While Erdogan and Michel sat on the only two chairs available, Von der Leyen ended up with no other option but to park her backside on a sofa opposite Turkey's foreign minister.

    ​"The president of the commission was clearly surprised," said European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer as quoted by AFP, arguing that von der Leyen should have been treated "exactly in the same manner" as Michel. "She does consider that these issues are important and need to be treated appropriately, which they clearly were not."

    A Turkish official, however, told the media outlet that "no arrangements were made other than those requested by a preliminary EU delegation which prepared the visit."

    As news of this development spread on social media, many netizens commented that the EC president should have been offered a chair by the men present, while the hashtag #sofagate sprung up on Twitter.

    ​Some offered possible explanations to what has happened.

    ​And there were also those who cracked jokes about the situation in question.

    Tags:
    reaction, social media, chairs, Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara, Turkey
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