Turkey’s President Erdogan says he hopes France will ‘get rid of Macron’ as soon as possible and declares the French leader ‘trouble’
- Erdogan said France was ‘passing through a dangerous period’ under Macron
- Two leaders clashed over Macron’s defence of Prophet Mohammed cartoons
- They have also had recent disputes over Syria, Libya and the Mediterranean
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today that he hoped France would ‘get rid of’ Emmanuel Macron as soon as possible, amid a long series of diplomatic spats between the two leaders.
Erdogan described Macron as ‘trouble’ and said France was ‘passing through a very, very dangerous period’ under his leadership.
‘I hope that France will get rid of Macron trouble as soon as possible’, Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul.
Turkey and France are embroiled in a serious of disputes including the fallout from Macron’s defence of blasphemous Prophet Mohammed cartoons which caused outrage in the Muslim world.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pictured, said today that he hoped France would ‘get rid of’ Emmanuel Macron as soon as possible
Erdogan himself was the target of an offensive Charlie Hebdo cartoon in October after leading the condemnation of France over the Prophet Mohammed drawings.
Macron vowed to uphold free speech after a French school teacher was beheaded by a Chechen terrorist for showing the cartoons to his class.
France’s defence of the cartoons made Macron a target of anger around the Muslim world, led by Erdogan who suggested that Macron needed ‘mental checks’.
Accusing Macron of promoting an ‘anti-Islam’ agenda, Erdogan backed calls for a boycott of French goods which had begun spontaneously across the Muslim world.
Even aside from the cartoon row, Turkey and France are at loggerheads over several other issues including conflicts in Syria and the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
In October, Macron accused Turkey of sending Syrian jihadists to fight with Azerbaijan against ethnic Armenians in the Karabakh conflict.
Emmanuel Macron, pictured, has been at loggerheads with Erdogan on a series of issues ranging from the conflict in Libya to the publication of blasphemous cartoons
France’s population includes about 600,000 people of Armenian origin, while Turkey is a close ally of Muslim Azerbaijan.
Before that, France and Turkey were at each other’s throats over a naval stand-off in the Mediterranean over the summer.
After Turkish oil and gas expeditions led to heightened tension with Greece, Macron ordered France to ‘temporarily reinforce’ its military presence in the Mediterranean.
It followed an incident in June in which a Turkish vessel allegedly flashed its radar lights at a French warship which was enforcing a UN arms embargo.
France accuses Turkey of violating the embargo and suspected that the Turkish vessel was smuggling arms to Libya.
Macron also called for EU sanctions against Turkey for what he described as ‘violations’ of Greek and Cypriot sovereignty over their territorial waters.
The French leader, 42, is next due to face the voters at the presidential election in 2022.