It was an awkward diplomatic moment.
Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Union’s executive, was left standing during a visit to Turkey this month as her colleague, Charles Michel, president of the European Council, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey settled into two chairs.
Ms. von der Leyen, the first woman to head the European Commission, weighed in on the situation for the first time on Monday, telling European lawmakers that she had concluded that the blunder happened because she is a woman.
“Would this have happened if I had worn a suit and a tie?” she asked, speaking to the European Parliament on Monday evening. “In the pictures of previous meetings, I did not see any shortage of chairs. But then again, I did not see any woman in these pictures, either.”
Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, a treaty that combats violence against women.
She also made another point: The diplomatic blunder only made headlines because there had been cameras in the room to capture the episode.