Tensions between France and Turkey escalate after Erdogan comments

French President Emmanuel Macron called on Friday for respect after Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan described him as a burden on France.


Macron also told news website Brut that Erdogan was limiting freedoms for Turkish people.


Erdogan said he hoped France would soon get rid of Macron.


Ankara and Paris have also traded accusations over their roles in the Nagorno-Karabkah conflict. France says Turkey fueled fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but populated by ethnic Armenians.


Ties between Turkey and France, both NATO members, have been particularly tense in recent months over policy differences on Syria and the publishing of offensive caricatures about the Prophet Mohammad in France.


Ankara, which backed its ethnic Turkic kin in Azerbaijan during weeks of fighting which drove Armenian forces from territories around Nagorno-Karabakh, denies this.


Turkey has said France, a co-chair of the Minsk group formed to mediate the issue, was not objective. Erdogan said on Friday that Paris’ status as a mediator was “no more” due to its support for Armenia and slammed a French Senate resolution this week urging that Nagorno-Karabakh be recognized as a republic.


“(Azeri President) Ilham Aliyev had some advice for the French. What did he say? ‘If they love Armenians so much, then they should give Marseilles to the Armenians’. I am making the same recommendation. If they love them so much, they should give Marseilles to the Armenians,” he said.


Arab Observer

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