Late last week, Paris recalled its ambassador to Turkey after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, needed to undergo “mental checks” because of his treatment of “millions of members” of France’s Muslim community.
In an exclusive interview with al-Jazeera on Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron focused on increasing tensions between Ankara and Paris, which he said may be defused if Turkey shows respect with regard to both france and NATO member states.
Macron accused Turkey of demonstrating a “bellicose attitude towards its NATO allies”, and slammed what he described as Ankara’s “deeply aggressive” policy in the eastern Mediterranean.
He made it clear france wants bilateral tensions to “calm down” but that this is only possible if the “Turkish president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] respects France, respects the European Union, respects its values, does not tell lies, and does not utter insults”.
“President Erdogan’s comments are unacceptable. Outrage and insult are not a method”, Macron’s office said in a statement at the time.
The French president earlier pledged that Paris would continue to protect freedom of speech, including the right of people to draw cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, and vowed to step up efforts against extremism, creating what he described as “enlightened Islam” in France.
The remarks, which sparked harsh criticism from multiple Muslim countries and Islamic organisations,…