European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday via video conference.
The meeting precedes the summit of European leaders next week, where Turkey-EU relations will also be discussed.
Also present at the 45-minute meeting were Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, and presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin.
At a press conference after the meeting, Von der Leyen voiced EU support for Turkey on the issue of immigration.
” Cooperation between Turkey and the EU strengthens us and gives us the right to show what divides us, ” she said.
Von der Leyen reiterated the EU’s concern over Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on the prevention of violence against women and children.
She said respect for human rights and the rule of law are essential EU requirements for a country seeking membership.
“The coming months will show us how far we can go together with Turkey, ” Von der Leyen concluded.
Turkey withdrew from the Istanbul Convention last month, arguing that the country has legislation protecting the rights of these categories and that the Convention legitimized the rights of LGBT people.