Erdoğan a dictator Italy needs to cooperate with - Italian PM Draghi

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi openly called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a “dictator” on Thursday, Agence France-Press reported.

Draghi's remarks came following a question over the treatment of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday during the meeting with the Turkish president, in which von der Leyen was seated separately from Erdoğan and European Council President Charles Michel. The incident has reverberated through international media since, and Michel issued a statement on Thursday over Facebook, describing the moment as “distressing”.

Responding to a question on what has come to be known as “SofaGate”, Draghi said the scene was a “humiliation” for von der Leyen, AFP reported, adding:

“Let’s call them for what they are, dictators, but with whom we need to cooperate.”