Turkey summons Italian ambassador over comments on Erdogan

A diplomatic dispute has broken out between Turkey and Italy after the Italian prime minister called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a “dictator”.

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned the Italian ambassador to Ankara, Massimo Gaiani, on Thursday to protest the “unpleasant” comments of the Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi, about the Turkish president.

We strongly condemn the unacceptable populist rhetoric of Italian Prime Minister Draghi and his ugly and irrational statements about our president-elect.”, has denounced the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in his account of Twitter.

This measure of the Turkish Government has occurred after Draghi called Erdogan a “dictator” at a press conference and accused him of “humiliating” the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who was sitting alone on a sofa while the Turkish President sat next to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, in the center of the room during a meeting held on Tuesday between senior officials in Ankara (capital).

Cavusoglu had assured a few hours before that the decision on where Von der Leyen was to sit was made in accordance with the suggestions of the Brussels officials in charge of the protocol.

For his part, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and Director of European Union (EU) Affairs, Faruk Kaymakci, also criticized Draghi’s statements and highlighted that Erdogan is the elected leader with the most votes in the country and remarked that Turkey will respond to the “extreme and unpleasant inappropriate comments” of the senior Italian official.

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