Turkish President Erdogan says he hopes France will ‘get rid of Macron’ as soon as possible and declares French leader ‘trouble’
- Erdogan said France is ‘going through a dangerous period’ under Macron
- Two leaders got into conflict over Macron’s defense of Prophet Muhammad cartoons
- They have also had recent disputes over Syria, Libya and the Mediterranean
Turkish 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 squabbles between the two leaders.
Erdogan described Macron as “trouble” and said that France “was going through a very, very dangerous period” under his leadership.
“I hope France gets rid of the Macron problems as soon as possible,” Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul.
Turkey and France are engaged in serious dispute, including the fallout from Macron’s defense of blasphemous Prophet Muhammad cartoons that caused outrage in the Muslim world.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pictured today, said 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 France’s condemnation over the Prophet Mohammed’s drawings.
Macron vowed to uphold freedom of speech after a French teacher at a school was beheaded by a Chechen terrorist for showing the cartoons to his class.
The French defense of the cartoons made Macron a target of anger in the Muslim world, led by Erdogan who suggested Macron needed “mental checks.”
Erdogan accused Macron of promoting an ‘anti-Islam’ agenda and backed calls for a boycott of French goods that had started spontaneously in the Muslim world.
Apart from the cartoon row, Turkey and France are at odds with several other issues, including conflicts in Syria and the controversial 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, was at odds with Erdogan on a range of issues ranging from the conflict in Libya to the publication of blasphemous cartoons
The French population includes about 600,000 people of Armenian descent, while Turkey is a close ally of Islamic Azerbaijan.
Before that, France and Turkey were in each other’s throat over a maritime deadlock in the Mediterranean during the summer.
After Turkish oil and gas expeditions led to heightened tension with Greece, Macron ordered France to ‘temporarily strengthen’ its military presence in the Mediterranean.
It followed an incident in June where a Turkish ship reportedly flashed its radar lights on a French warship that imposed a UN arms embargo.
France accuses Turkey of violating the embargo and suspects that the Turkish ship was smuggling weapons into 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, will meet with voters next time in the 2022 presidential election.