Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has condemned French counterpart Emmanuel Macron over a rude statement on Islam. Recently, Macron pledged to fight “Islamist separatism”. Erdogan has said the remarks were “a clear provocation” and showed the French leader’s rudeness.
Macron had said “Islamist separatism” was threatening to take control in some Muslim communities in France. He said a bill on the issue would be sent to parliament. The bill will support steps limiting home-schooling and encouraging the teaching of Arabic.
“Macron’s statement that ‘Islam is in crisis’ in a city where Muslims are in the majority is beyond disrespectful. It is a clear provocation,” Erdogan told an event in Ankara.
Who are you to utter a phrase like Islam’s structuring?
President Macron made his rude remarks on Islam during a visit to Les Mureaux, an impoverished northern suburb of Paris and Tayyip Erdogan is not happy about it.
“Speaking about Islam’s structuring as the leader of France is overstepping and impertinence,” said Erdogan.
“Who are you to utter a phrase like Islam’s structuring?”
Turkey and France are allies in NATO but have been at odds over a host of issues. From policies in Syria and Libya to a dispute over Ankara’s hydrocarbon exploration and maritime jurisdiction in the eastern Mediterranean.
Erdogan and Macron discussed the disagreements and bilateral ties during a phone call last month. The phone call happened following weeks of tensions in the eastern Mediterranean. The two men agreed to improve ties and keep communication channels open.
However, Erdogan said on Tuesday that Macron had disregarded their agreement with his comments. He added that labelling Muslims in France as separatists would lead to “major conflicts”.
“Just as we agreed to improve our ties and dialogue about a week or 10 days ago, look at how quickly he forgot this,” Erdogan said. “Him making this statement right after (our call) shows just how much respect he should be shown.”
Last month, the French President ‘brazenly’ refused to condemn sketches of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Macron defended citizens’ right to freedom of speech. His remarks came as the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo said it was republishing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Prime Minister Imran Khan had once turned down the French President’s call and told him to call in 30 minutes.
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