France withdraws ambassador to Turkey amid growing tension with Erdogan


October 24 (UPI) – France withdrew its ambassador to Turkey for “consultations” after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insulted President Emmanuel Macron in televised remarks about the treatment of Muslims in France.

Macron has vowed to work against “Islamist separatism” in France after a Parisian teacher was beheaded in an anger-related plot over the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad used in a college class.

“What’s wrong with this person called Macron with Muslims and Islam?” Erdogan said on Saturday in the city of Kayseri, in central Turkey. “Macron needs mental treatment. What else can we say to a head of state who does not understand freedom of belief and who behaves in this way towards millions of people living in his country and belonging to a different religion? »Said Erdogan.

“First of all, do mental checks,” Erdogan scoffed.

The French presidency criticized “the excess and rudeness” of Ergodan’s words, which a spokesperson described as “dangerous from all points of view”.

The French government also noted the absence of a condolence message from Turkey following the death of teacher Samuel Paty.

France and Turkey have been drawn into the increasingly violent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as European neighbors attempt to negotiate a ceasefire in Moscow. Ergodan actively supports Azerbaijan in criticizing the air strikes against Armenian civilians.

In early October, Macron criticized Turkey for allowing “jihadist” fighters from Syria to cross Turkey into Azerbaijan, calling the country as a NATO partner and saying “a red line had been crossed” .

France also supports Greece and Cyprus in a simmering dispute with Turkey over offshore oil drilling in the Mediterranean.

Paris has seen civil attacks in recent weeks, including a stabbing, linked to the trial of 14 defendants accused of planning a violent shooting that killed 17 people in 2015 on the premises of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

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