Reuters, Associated Press and France-Presse, Turkish President Erdogan questioned the mental health of French President Macron and called on the public to boycott French goods. On Tuesday, France encouraged EU allies to take measures against Turkey. Earlier the same day, the European Commission warned that, given Erdogan’s remarks, Turkey’s accession to the European Union is farther than ever.
French Trade Minister Franckist told the MPs: “France is united and Europe is united. At the next European Council, Europe will have to make a decision to strengthen the balance of power with Turkey in order to better defend Own interests and European values.” But he did not specify what measures would be taken.
Earlier on Tuesday, the European Commission warned that Erdogan’s remarks made Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union even more remote. A spokesperson said: “Calls to boycott any member state’s products are contrary to the spirit of (EU) obligations, which will make Turkey further away from the EU.”
Some French goods have been removed from supermarket shelves in several Middle Eastern countries, including Qatar and Kuwait. Rist told reporters on Monday that the French government has no plans to conduct a reciprocal boycott of Turkish products.
French economist Stephanie Willers said in an interview with RTL that the boycott may have a minor impact on French exports, which is much more damaging than the US tariffs imposed on French wine last year.
Villes said: “If there is an intention to harm the French economy, then all French products will be boycotted.” She also pointed out that the more lucrative aerospace and luxury goods industries have not been affected.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte stated that the Netherlands and France stand together and “support freedom of speech and oppose extremism and radicalism.”
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas described Erdogan’s insult to Macron as “a new low point” and added that Germany “stands with our French friends”.
Late Monday, Italian Prime Minister Conte joined European criticism of Erdogan’s comments. He wrote on Twitter: “President Erdogan’s remarks to President Macron are unacceptable. Personal abuse does not help the EU hopes to reach a positive agenda with Turkey, but will push the solution aside.” In a tweet written in French, Conte expressed his “complete solidarity” with Macron.
Greek President Katerina Sakaelaroplu stated that Erdogan’s remarks “inciting religious fanaticism and intolerance in the name of a clash of civilizations are intolerable”.
A Security Council statement said that at a summit earlier this month, EU member states agreed to review Turkey’s actions in December and threatened to impose sanctions on Erdogan’s “provocation” if they continue.
EU spokesman Peter Stano said on Monday that he did not rule out the possibility of an emergency meeting of EU ministers early after Erdogan’s latest remarks.
“We obviously expect the Turkish side to make changes in actions and statements.” Stano said at a press conference. He said that there will be many discussions, “see if we continue to wait or take action sooner.”
In his speech on Monday, Erdogan announced that European leaders must end Macron’s so-called “anti-Islamic” agenda. “I hereby appeal to all my citizens to never buy French goods.”
Turkey and France are both members of the NATO military alliance, but they have differences on issues such as Syria and Libya, maritime jurisdiction in the eastern Mediterranean, and the conflict in the Naqqa region. According to statistics from the Turkish Statistics Agency, France is Turkey’s tenth largest source of imports and Turkey’s seventh largest export market.