Draghi’s remarks come after European Commission chief von der Leyen failed to secure the proper seating arrangement during her visit to Ankara.
Turkey has condemned Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi for accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of humiliating European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and calling him a “dictator”.
Von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel met Erdogan in Ankara on Tuesday.
The head of the Commission was clearly disconcerted when the two men sat down on the only two chairs prepared.
Erdogan and Michel quickly sat down while von der Leyen, whose diplomatic rank is the same as that of the two men, remained standing.
Official images then showed her sitting on a sofa opposite Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
“I was very unhappy with the humiliation that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had to endure,” said Draghi, the former head of the European Central Bank (ECB).
“With these dictators, let’s call them what they are – which we need however – you have to be honest in expressing your divergent ideas and views on society.
“ Impudent and ugly remarks ”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the Italian ambassador to Ankara on Thursday to condemn the remarks.
According to a statement from the Foreign Ministry, the ambassador learned that Draghi’s remarks were contrary to the spirit of the Turkey-Italy alliance.
The ministry said Draghi should “immediately” resume his “shameless and ugly remarks.”
Foreign Minister Cavusoglu also criticized the remarks in a tweet.
“We strongly condemn the unacceptable populist rhetoric of the Italian Prime Minister named Draghi and his ugly and unrestrained comments on our president-elect,” he wrote on Twitter.