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An election campaign poster featuring Erdoğan:
Ankara

Erdogan questions Macron’s ‘sanity’ and accuses him of Islamophobia

The Turkish president denounced the attitude of the French leader towards Muslims in France and spoke out against the measures taken after the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty.

Published: October 25, 2020, 9:22 am

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    Tension remains high between Paris and Ankara. As FranceInfo reported, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was particularly critical, this Saturday, October 24, towards his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

    The Turkish leader condemned France’s attitude towards Muslims after the Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines) attack.

    “All that can be said of a head of state who treats millions of members of different religious communities in this way is: go for mental health exams first,” the Turkish leader declared in a televised speech.

    For its part, the Elysée Palace denounced the “unacceptable” remarks while noting “the absence of condolences” from Erdogan following the death of Samuel Paty. Paris also recalled the French ambassador to Ankara.

    As FranceInfo noted, Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced the declarations by the French president on “Islamist separatism” and the need to “structure Islam” in France as a provocation. A bill on the fight against “separatism” in France which targets radical Islam, must be presented in early December.

    It aims to strengthen secularism and consolidate republican principles in France and includes several points likely to provoke tensions with Turkey, such as the reinforced control of mosque funding or the ban on the training of imams abroad.

    This latest dispute has been added to a long list of disagreements between Emmanuel Macron and his Turkish counterpart, who regularly defends Muslim minorities around the world.

    Certain countries in the Middle East have called for a boycott of French products on Saturday after the words pronounced by Emmanuel Macron during his national tribute to Samuel Paty: “We will not give up caricatures, drawings, even if others retreat.”

    In Israel, nearly 200 demonstrators gathered on Saturday evening in front of the residence of the French ambassador in Tel Aviv to denounce the words of the French president on the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

    The prophet “is the most sacred thing in Islam and he who attains his honor, reaches a whole people,” declared Amin Bukhari, a demonstrator accusing the French president of playing the game of the “extreme right” Ouest-france.fr reported.

    The University of Qatar notably postponed the French cultural week and travel agencies from Kuwait ceased offering trips to France. French products were also being taken off the shelves of supermarkets in these countries according to French daily Le Figaro.

    Many Internet users from the Arab world have been calling for a boycott of French products on social networks for several days already to protest against the “authoritarian and repressive drift against Muslims” since the beheading of Paty.

    A second French mayor has been threatened with “beheading” only a day after the mayor of Bron, near Lyon, received a similar warning. “The mayor of the 8th, we’ll behead your head [sic].” Not only the mayor of the eighth district of Lyon, Olivier Berzane, but teachers and students too, received open threats that their heads would be cut off. Berzane however claimed it was an “isolated act”.

    Russian mixed martial arts fighters Zelim Imadayev and Albert Duraev have meanwhile voiced their support for the Chechen terrorist Abdulak Anzorov, who killed and beheaded the school teacher on the outskirts of Paris.

    In his Instagram story, Imadayev called Anzorov a hero, and Duraev wrote that “freedom of speech has lost its mind in France,” adding a smiley emoji to the post. Both fighters subsequently deleted the posts, but their screenshots remained on the Internet.

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