ISTANBUL: On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he wished that France would get rid of Emmanuel Macron as soon as possible, the most recent salvo in an ongoing war of words between the two leaders.
Turkey, from the tensions in the eastern Mediterranean to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, is entangled in a series of conflicts with France and its EU allies.
In recent months, the spat has climbed to new heights as France tried to crack down on terrorism following many attacks on its territory.
“Macron, for France, is trouble. With Macron, a very very risky time is going through France. “After Friday prayers in Istanbul, the president told reporters, “I hope France can get rid of Macron’s problems as soon as possible.
“He said the French should dump their leader, referring to the protest movement that erupted in France in 2018, “otherwise they won’t be able to get rid of yellow vests.
Later on, yellow vests might transform into red vests,’ said Erdogan, without elaborating.
Repeatedly, the Turkish leader indicated that Macron get “mental checks” and encouraged the Turkish people to boycott items branded in French.
Turkey and France are both at odds over Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory inhabited by ethnic Armenians in Azerbaijan that broke free from the rule of Baku in the post-Soviet war of the 1990s.
In September, fresh violence broke out, leaving several thousand civilians dead, before last month, a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement was sealed.
A staunch friend of Azerbaijan is Turkey.
The Minsk Party, which has led talks for decades finding a settlement to the conflict but has struggled to find a permanent resolution, is co-chaired by France along with Russia and the United States.
A non-binding resolution was adopted by the French Senate last month, calling on France to recognise Nagorno-Karabakh as a sovereign state.
About why? You’re a mediator, but on the other hand, in your parliament, you have passed a bill… Erdogan charged about an area that you are meant to be a mediator in.
He also echoed Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s comments that France should yield to Armenia the Mediterranean port city of Marseille if it wants to create a state for the Karabakh Armenians.
“I give the same advice: they should give Marseille to the Armenians if they are so keen,” Erdogan said.
Macron’s remarks in September on the simmering eastern Mediterranean standoff pitting Turkey against Greece and the rest of the EU attracted wrath from Ankara.
When addressing Erdogan’s solution to the crisis, Macron said The people of Turkey, who are great people, deserve something else.”
France supports Greek arguments in the row over the energy-rich waters at issue, with Athens pursuing EU sanctions to punish Ankara.
At a summit on 10 December, EU representatives will determine whether to launch the process of implementing sanctions against Turkey, although several states are not persuaded.
Turkey’s stance towards its NATO partners is bellicose, Macron told Al-Jazeera in October, condemning the actions of Turkey in Syria, Libya and the Mediterranean.
He said the wish of France was for things to “calm down,” but it is important for this to happen that the Turkish president respects France, respects the European Union, respects its values, tells no lies and does not utter insults.