Snubbing Ursula von den Leyen


Sir, – We are now familiar with the image of Charles Michel, president of the European Council, resolutely remaining seated in his chair in Ankara while Ursula von den Leyen, European Commission president, was left standing (“‘It happened because I am a woman’: von der Leyen speaks of Turkey snub”, World, April 27th). Mr Michel is now reported as saying, “I understand the images will have offended many women.”

Does this statement indicate that he is incapable of understanding that these images also offended many men? – Yours, etc,


Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – It was indeed strange that the Turkish hosts did not provide three chairs in the formal reception room when Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel visited President Erdogan in Ankara. The two chairs were not labelled, so from that perspective it was indeed bad manners for Mr Michel to assume the second chair was for him, leaving Dr von der Leyen feeling “hurt and left alone”. However, surely as president of the European Council and president of the European Commission these two highly experienced politicians would, between them, have had enough initiative to request a third chair? If that had happened it probably would have been the end of the matter. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.