France condemns Erdogan for dispute against Islam and threatens sanctions | France

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France on Thursday condemned what it called “statements of violence” by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and raised the possibility of new sanctions against Ankara.Erdogan has bitterly argued with French President Emmanuel Macron over a number of geopolitical hotspots and, more recently, over France’s struggle against what she calls “radical” Islam.

“There are now statements of violence, even hatred, which are regularly posted by President Erdogan which are unacceptable,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told Europe 1 radio.

Erdogan joined calls from the Muslim world to boycott French products in response to Macron’s statement that Islam was a religion “in crisis” in the world, saying the French president needed mental treatment for his people. opinions on Islam.

Tensions escalated further as Macron, senior officials and the French public renewed their support for the right to show cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which are deeply offensive to Muslims as they often confuse Islam with violence.

Turkey vowed on Wednesday to “respond in the strongest possible way” to France’s ban on the Turkish ultra-nationalist group of gray wolves.

“It is not only France that is targeted, there is total European solidarity on the subject – we want Turkey to renounce this logic,” said Le Drian.

The European Council, he added, has already decided to take action against the Turkish authorities, and “it is now important that the Turks take the necessary steps to prevent this.

“There are pressure tactics, there is an agenda of possible sanctions. “

Macron insists not to be against Islam

Meanwhile, Macron pointed out that his country is fighting “Islamist separatism, never Islam,” responding to a Financial Times article which he said misquoted him and has since been removed from the newspaper’s website. .

In a letter to the editor published Wednesday, Macron said the British newspaper accused him of “stigmatizing French Muslims for electoral purposes and fostering a climate of fear and suspicion towards them”.

“I will not allow anyone to claim that France, or its government, is promoting racism against Muslims,” ​​he said.

An opinion piece written by a Financial Times correspondent and published Tuesday alleged that Macron’s condemnation of “Islamic separatism” risked fostering a “hostile environment” for French Muslims.

The article was subsequently removed from the newspaper’s website and replaced with a notice saying it “contained factual errors.”

Renewed support for the right to show the Prophet Muhammad cartoons comes amid the trial for the 2015 deadly attacks on Charlie Hebdo staff; the satirical magazine reposted the footage early in the trial. Since the fallout between Macron and Erdogan, he has printed a provocative caricature of the Turkish leader, angering Ankara even more.

Support also comes after the murder last month of Professor Samuel Paty – who showed his class a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.

Following protests and boycotts of French goods across the world, Macron told Al Jazeera over the weekend that he understood the cartoons could be shocking to some.

But recounting a wave of attacks in France since 2015, Macron warned in his letter this week that there was still “fertile ground” for “extremism” in France.

“In some neighborhoods and on the Internet, groups linked to radical Islam are teaching our children hatred of the republic, calling on them not to respect its laws,” he wrote.

“This is what France is fighting against… against the hatred and death that threaten its children – never against Islam. We oppose deception, fanaticism, violent extremism. Not a religion. “



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