Turkey demands apology after Draghi calls Erdogan a dictator

ROME (AP) — Turkey is demanding an apology from Italy’s premier after he called President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a “dictator.” The diplomatic standoff has deepened a rift between Turkey and the European Union at a time when both sides had been hoping for rapprochement. Italian Premier Mario Draghi made the uncharacteristically undiplomatic comment Thursday at the end of an hour-long press conference devoted to Italy’s coronavirus pandemic response. He was asked his reaction to Erdogan’s treatment of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who was left without a chair during a meeting Tuesday in Ankara. Draghi said Erdogan’s behavior was inappropriate and that politicians seeking collaboration with difficult leaders need to “call them what they are: dictators.”