France and Turkey have been embroiled in a diplomatic standoff following Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s statement that French President Emmanuel Macron had “lost his way” about his attitude towards Muslims.
- France has recalled its ambassador from Turkey
- Pakistan has accused France of promoting Islamophobia
- France is shocked that an author has been beheaded by an Islamic extremist
“The person in charge of France has lost his way,” Mr Erdogan said Sunday.
“He talks about Erdogan when he’s in bed and when he’s awake. Look at you first. I told you yesterday where you were going … He’s a case, he really needs to be investigated.”
This is Turkey’s second insult swipe at Mr Macron, and it is coming France continues to suffocate after a young teacher beheaded for showing his caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in class.
The day before, Mr Erdogan said the French leader needed mental help to forgive the caricatures of the Islamic prophet.
“What is the problem with this person called Macron with Muslims and Islam? Macron needs treatment on a mental level,” Mr Erdogan said.
On Sunday, French officials condemned Turkish “propaganda” against France aimed at inciting hatred at home and abroad and called for an immediate end to calls for a boycott of French products.
France has announced it will recall its ambassador for consultations.
In a chain of communications back and forth, the French concern over the effects of its policies on rapidly rising temperatures and free expression, Mr Macron tweeted Sunday night, in English and Arabic: “We will never give up.”
But he affirmed: “We respect all differences in the sense of peace.”
Another president tweeted in bold bold: “We are one.”
In the latest count, the Arabic version had 28,000 comments – many of which were insulting. Among them were pictures stamped with a shoe on Mr Macron’s face.
Diplomatic tensions escalate after the beheading of a French teacher
France regards religious satire as a form of speech that falls under freedom of expression, while many Muslims consider any attack on their prophet to be a major crime.
On October 16, an 18-year-old man of Chechen descent near Paris was beheaded by a teacher who showed him caricatures of Mohammed in class.
The brutal assassination of the author, especially by Islamic extremists Mr Macron claims, has created a parallel universe that confronts French values, as the French government operates on a planned framework to combat “separatism”.
“What else can a head of state say to millions of people living in his country who do not understand freedom of belief and are members of different faiths who behave this way?” Mr. Erdogan asked.
Both Turkey and France are members of the NATO military alliance, but have been at loggerheads over issues including maritime jurisdiction in the eastern Mediterranean and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Syria and Libya.
Muslim countries weigh in
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted on Sunday that Mr Macron had chosen to “promote Islamophobia by attacking Islam rather than terrorists” and “deliberately incite Muslims, including his own citizens.”
The 57-nation Islamic Cooperation Organization, led by Saudi Arabia, has condemned the practice of “running satirical caricatures depicting the Prophet Mohammed” and “will continue to determine the justification for slandering any religion in the name of freedom of expression.”
Unlike Turkey, the organization has previously condemned the killing of a French teacher.
This is the latest episode in a string of increasingly bitter differences between Paris and Ankara that are fueling relations between the two NATO allies.
Mr Macron’s office said Saturday that Mr Erdogan’s policies were “dangerous.”
AP / Reuters