Erdogan says he hopes France will get rid of Macron 'burden' soon

Macron and France are going through a very dangerous period actually, says Turkish president


Reuters/AFP December 04, 2020
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a news conference during the Syria summit in Istanbul, Turkey, October 27, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

ANKARA:

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he hoped France would soon get rid of President Emmanuel Macron, describing him as a burden on France which was going through dangerous times.

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

“Macron is a burden on France. Macron and France are going through a very dangerous period actually,” Erdogan told reporters, referring to protests in French cities. “My hope is that France gets rid of the Macron trouble as soon as possible.”

Erdogan has repeatedly suggested that Macron get "mental checks" and urged the Turkish people to boycott French-labelled products.

On Friday Ergodan said France should get rid of Macron "otherwise they will not be able to get rid of yellow vests," referring to the protest movement that began in France in 2018.

"Yellow vests could later turn into red vests," Erdogan said, without elaborating.

Turkey and France are also at odds over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of Azerbaijan populated by ethnic Armenians that broke away from Baku's control in a 1990s post-Soviet war.

Fresh fighting broke out in September, until a Russian-brokered ceasefire deal was sealed last month.

Turkey is a staunch ally of Azerbaijan.

France along with Russia and the United States co-chairs the Minsk Group, which has led talks seeking a solution to the conflict for decades but has failed to reach a lasting agreement.

Last month, the French Senate adopted a non-binding resolution calling on France to recognise Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state.

Erdogan said that France had lost its "mediator role" in the Karabakh dispute.

"Why? You are a mediator but on the other side, you have passed a resolution in your parliament... about a region on which you are supposed to be a mediator," he said.

Erdogan also repeated comments from Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev that France should concede its southern city of Marseille to Armenia if it is so keen on establishing a state.

"I am making the same advice: if they are so keen, they should give Marseille to Armenians," Erdogan said. "It's as simple as that."

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