Erdoğan: I hope the French people can get rid of Macron as soon as possible and prevent him from being re-elected in the 2022 election.
Macron: Show some respect. Also, you don’t want to restrict the freedom of the Turkish people.
Erdogan has been in trouble with Macron since he made his famous “NATO brain death” remarks last year. More than a year has passed, and the two are still “lingering” and starting to fight over the Mediterranean territorial dispute and religious issues.
On Friday, Erdoğan called on French people to use their votes to fire Macron’s squid. On the occasion of this, the EU will hold a crucial summit on December 10, and France is expected to lead the promotion of sanctions against Turkey on the grounds that Turkey “infringsing Greek waters” for natural gas exploration and “violating the United Nations arms embargo on Libya”.
French media France 24 reported on December 7 that the relationship between Turkey and France is falling to a new low at this moment, and the two leaders’ repeated vicious words are opposite each other, “the scene is comparable to a boxing match”.
In recent months, Turkey and France have not stopped at all. In September this year, the contradictions between Turkey and Greece around the issue of energy exploration in the Mediterranean escalated, and France’s strong support for Greece aroused Turkey’s dissatisfaction.
The Paris teacher’s “beheading” case in October “adds to the fact that the tense relationship between the two countries”: Macron decided to toughen the country against extremists and criticized Islam as “secessionism” and “religion facing crisis around the world”; Erdoğan immediately counterattacked and satirized Macron’s “need to accept Psychotherapy” and called for a “boycott of French goods”.
Turkey-France relations are at a low point as the two leaders battle over the Mediterranean territorial dispute and religious issues. France recalled its ambassador to Turkey for a time.
Erdoğan has long been eager to join the European “family” as a member of the European Union, and at one time seemed willing to do anything as required by the EU. Turkey even agreed to be the “gatekeeper” of the European Union to prevent immigrants from entering Europe.
However, France 24 pointed out that for Erdoğan, the matter of joining the EU may be losing its appeal.
In addition, Ian Lesser, vice president and executive director of the German Marshall Foundation, told France 24 that Erdoğan’s resort to a “diplomatic war of words” is nothing new because he “leaned to use his words as part of his foreign policy”.
Lesser went on to analyze: “The friction between France and Turkey is partly due to personality. In a way, Erdogan is increasingly disillusioned with the West and Turkey’s place in it, arguing that France and its leadership embody everything he doesn’t like in Europe…while, the strong nationalistic sentiments that emerge in Turkey and elsewhere.”
Some critics believe that Erdoğan’s verbal attacks on Macron and the European Union are deliberate provocations aimed at promoting his image among nationalist Turks. Because these Turks regard Erdoğan as the defender of Islamic values.
Macron may also be driven by domestic motivation to some extent. After the recent terrorist attacks, he defended secularism and strongly attacked “Islamic separatism”, which to some extent pleaded right-wing forces in France. France 24 analysis said that this would help him win re-election in the 2022 election.
“In each other, Macron and Erdoğan have found their ideal enemies.” Asli Aydintasbas, a researcher at the European Council on Foreign Relations, has said that the quarrel between the two has played a positive role in both of them “in a strange way”, whether in raising public opinion at home or in projecting influence abroad.