Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called on Monday for Turks never to buy French goods, as he continued his sharp criticism of French leader Emmanuel Macron over his attitude towards Muslims.
“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.
‘Lost his way’
Earlier, Erdogan said Macron had a problem with Muslims and needed mental checks – a rebuke that caused France to recall its ambassador from Ankara.
“The person in charge of France has lost his way. He goes on about Erdogan all day. Look at yourself first and where you are going. I said in Kayseri yesterday, he is a case and he really must be checked up,” Erdogan said Sunday in a televised speech in the eastern province of Malatya.
This month, the French leader declared war on “Islamist separatism,” which he believes is taking over some Muslim communities in France.
Teacher beheaded in Paris named as 47-year-old Samuel Paty
France has since been shaken by the beheading of a teacher by an Islamist militant, avenging the use of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression.
On Saturday, France said it recalled its envoy to Turkey for consultations after “unacceptable” comments by Erdogan, questioning Macron’s mental health.
“President Erdogan’s comments are unacceptable. Excess and rudeness are not a method. We demand that Erdogan change the course of his policy because it is dangerous in every respect,” the French president’s office said.
The French ambassador to Turkey was being recalled for consultations and would meet Macron to discuss the situation, the office said.
France had gathered its European partners who share France’s demand that Turkey puts a stop to its “dangerous adventures” in the Mediterranean and in the region, it said. Erdogan had two months to respond or face measures, noting the absence of a condolence message from Turkey’s leader after the history teacher’s death last week, it added.
On Sunday, the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell also condemned Erdogan for making “unacceptable” comments about Macron. “The remarks by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding President Emmanuel Macron are unacceptable,” Borrell tweeted. “Call to Turkey to cease this dangerous spiral of confrontation.”
“The conclusions of the European Council entail a real offer to relaunch our relationship, but political willingness is needed on the part of the Turkish authorities on this positive agenda,” Borrell tweeted on Sunday. “Otherwise, Turkey will be even more isolated,” he added.
(With input from Reuters, AFP)