Turkey’s Erdogan says European leaders must put end to Macron’s ‘anti-Islam’ agenda

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he gives a press conference after the cabinet meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey, on September 21, 2020. (AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Monday for Turks never to buy French goods and urged European Union leaders to halt French leader Emmanuel Macron’s “anti-Islam” agenda.

Erdogan said on Saturday Macron had a problem with Muslims and needed checks on his mental health - a rebuke that caused France to recall its ambassador from Ankara. He made similar comments the next day and again on Monday.

Read more: Macron tweets in Arabic that France ‘will never give in’ amid Prophet cartoon storm

“Just like they say ‘Don’t buy good with Turkish brands’ in France, I am calling to all my citizens from here to never help French brands or buy them,” Erdogan said.

France is the 10th biggest source of imports into Turkey and the seventh biggest market for Turkey’s exports, according to Turkey’s statistical institute. Among major French imports, French autos are among the highest selling cars in Turkey.

Erdogan also said Muslims in Europe were subjected to a “lynch campaign” like Jews before World War II and accused some Western leaders of championing Islamophobia, calling them “fascists.”

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a news conference during the Syria summit in Istanbul, Turkey, October 27, 2018. (Reuters)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a news conference during the Syria summit in Istanbul, Turkey, October 27, 2018. (Reuters)

“You are in a real sense fascists, you are in a real sense the links in the chain of Nazism,” said Erdogan, without giving any names.

“Muslims are now subjected to a lynch campaign similar to that against Jews in Europe before World War II.”

Macron has pledged to fight “Islamist separatism,” saying it was threatening to take over some Muslim communities in France.

The country has since been shaken by the beheading of a teacher by an extremist, avenging the use of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression.

European leaders must put an end to Macron’s “anti-Islam” agenda, Erdogan said in a speech at the start of a week of activities in Turkey to commemorate the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad.

Turkey and France are both members of the NATO military alliance, but have been at odds over issues including Syria and Libya, maritime jurisdiction in the eastern Mediterranean, and the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

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Last Update: Monday, 26 October 2020 KSA 16:03 - GMT 13:03
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