The French mission in Turkey has been called off after the Turkish President hurled a series of insulting comments on the French counterpart over the recent Samuel Patty beheading.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said France’s Emmanuel Macron needs mental health checkup for his recent pledge to defend France’s republic values and fight radical Islam, multiple media reports confirm.
“What’s the problem of the individual called Macron with Islam and with the Muslims?” Turkey’s Erdogan — a devout Muslim — said in a speech of his Justice and Development (AK) Party in the central Turkish city of Kayseri on Saturday.
“Macron needs treatment on a mental level. What else can be said to a head of state who does not understand freedom of belief and who behaves in this way to millions of people living in his country who are members of a different faith?” he added.
The comments come a day after France staged a remarkable protest on the recent bout of Jihadist attack where a history school teacher was beheaded for showing Prophet Muhammad’s caricature while explaining freedom of expression in a History class.
French government buildings on Saturday flashed the same cartoon of the Prophet which was shown by Samuel Patty from a French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, We The World reported Saturday.
President Macron said the attack was ‘Islamic terrorist attack.’
Turkey’s comments invoked strong reaction from both the sides on social media, sending #boycottfranceproducts and #ProphetMohammad on top of Twitter’s trending.
Depiction of the Prophet and Allah (God) explicitly is forbidden in Islam and the caricatures circulating in France have caused huge offense in the Islamic community.
However, this Islamic value contradicts France’s state secularism – or laïcité – which is an integral part of the nation’s identity, much like America’s liberty.
The state is by law separate from religion, and hence, curbing the freedom of expression to protect the sentiments of one particular community is antithetical to the nation’s ideals of unity, the BBC noted.
This has been interpreted by many Muslims as the nation’s suppression of Islam.
It must be noted, Macron, before the beheading incident happened, was already highlighting his government’s efforts to fight what he calls ‘Islamist separatism.’
He said, Islam is in ‘crisis’ and the country’s Muslim minority – some 6 million of them – are in danger of forming a ‘counter-society’.
Following Turkey’s degrading comments, AFP news agency reported, France’s ambassador to Turkey was called back to meet Mr. Macron, temporarily suspending consultations.
In an unusually strong language, the France presidency office issued a statement saying:
“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 official was quoted as saying.
The recent range of word-war is the latest issue to spat relationships between the two nations, both of which are allies under the NATO alliance.
France and Turkey have in the recent past disagreed over a myriad of issues, including political, and geopolitical issues like the civil wars in Syria and Libya.