Tensions between France and Turkey continue to rise

The leaders of Turkey, Germany, France and Russia meet in Istanbul [EPA-EFE/MAXIM SHIPENKOV]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday (26 October) of leading a “hate campaign” against Muslims.

In a very virulent speech, the Ankara strongman said France is conducting “a lynching campaign similar to that against the Jews of Europe before the Second World War”, but this time against Muslims, following the French authorities’ reaction to the beheading on 16 October of teacher Samuel Paty who showed his class caricatures of Prophet Muhammad.

Read also: “France says it won’t forget ‘silence’ of some states after teacher beheading

After the French ambassador to Turkey was recalled “for consultation” on Sunday – which is a first in Franco-Turkish history – Erdoğan called on Monday for the boycott of French products.

Berlin and Rome strongly condemned Ankara’s remarks.

While German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said the Turkish president’s “defamatory statements […] are absolutely unacceptable”, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte tweeted that that “personal invectives do not help the positive agenda that the EU wants to pursue with Turkey, but on the contrary, make solutions more difficult”.

(Lucie Duboua-Lorsch  | EURACTIV.FR)

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