Turkey’s Erdogan blames riots in France on ‘institutional racism’, ‘Islamophobia’

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Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed on Monday France’s nationwide riots on “institutional racism”, “Islamophobia” and the French colonial past.

France was rocked by a nationwide wave of protesting and rioting sparked by the fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old of Algerian descent on Tuesday.


Erdogan said: “Especially in countries known for their colonial past, cultural racism has turned into institutional racism,” in comments carried by state outlet HaberTurk.

He said: “At the root of the events that started in France is the social architecture built by this mentality. Most of the immigrants who are condemned to live in ghettos, who are systematically oppressed, are Muslims.”

The Turkish president added: “Violence unfortunately gave birth to violence and triggered today's events.

He warned the French authorities to take note: “The streets cannot be the means of seeking justice. However, it is clear that the authorities should also learn from the social explosion.”

France's civil unrest, compounded by allegations of over-policing in marginalized communities, has resulted in a ban on demonstrations in several cities, travel advisories, and renewed arguments on racial bias in law enforcement.

The chaotic riots featured protesters setting vehicles ablaze, vandalizing buildings, and engaging in violent confrontations with the riot police. This crisis compelled President Emmanuel Macron to convene an emergency ministerial meeting, as he strives to mend societal fractures and unify the nation during his second term.

Protesters brandished placards proclaiming "the police kill," and numerous government structures were damaged, reflecting the prevalent resentment over racial prejudice. The widespread violence in mainland France and its overseas territories led French authorities to instigate a clampdown, deploying over 40,000 police officers nationwide. Thousands have been arrested, and hundreds of law enforcement officers have suffered injuries.

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