French chair crisis occurred before Israeli: historian
ISTANBUL / RadikalA recent book revealed a "chair" crisis had occurred with France in the Ottoman times similar to the one that caused a damaging rift in Turkey-Israel relations, Radikal reported.
Historian Erhan Afyoncu wrote in his latest book “Fransa'ya Osmanlı Tokadı” (The Ottoman Slap to France) about a French ambassador visiting the Ottoman Empire who refused to be seated lower than the grand vizier, who in return left the ambassador waiting in the room until he calmed down.
Afyoncu said it was unknown whether the ambassador left without seeing the grand vizier at that first meeting, but the crisis was soon solved when the ambassador, suffering financial losses due to damaged relations with the court, rescheduled with the grand vizier and accepted his lower seating.
Following the ambassador's silent acceptance, France released him from his duties in 1678.
Relations worsened soon after when France allied with Austria against the Ottoman siege in Vienna.
The chair crisis between Turkey and Israel had occurred when Turkish Ambassador Oğuz Çelikkol was invited by Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and was forced to sit on a low sofa without receiving a handshake. Ayalon had explained to representatives of local TV stations, in Hebrew, that the humiliation was intentional.
The incident caused Turkey had caused Turkey to threaten to recall the ambassador if no apology was delivered. Apology was soon received and the crisis was solved.