Erdoğan of Turkey, Macron of France

Erdoğan calls for boycott to French products over Macron’s attacks on Islam

Turkish president, who claims that Macron needs “mental treatment” for his attacks on Islam, says that Islamophobia is a plague in the West.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on Monday on all Turkish citizens to boycott French products – a movement that is already occurring in other Muslim countries – due to the increasing attacks against Islam by French President Emmanuel Macron, of whom Erdoğan said during the weekend that he needs “mental treatment.”

It is becoming increasingly difficult to be a Muslim and to live like a Muslim in Western countries,” Erdoğan said in a speech delivered during a televised religious event organised in Ankara on the occasion of Mawlid an-Nabi (Mevlid Kandili in Turkish), the anniversary of the birth of the prophet Muhammad.

“As they have said in France ‘do not buy products from Turkey’, I hereby appeal to my people. Never trust products made in France, do not buy them,” said the Turkish president, who asked the governments from Europe to stop the “anti-Islamic” agenda of the French president, whom he said is the European leader who is currently leading the discourse against Islam.

Erdoğan stressed that Turkey considers the problems of Islamophobia in the West and in particular in Europe as a matter of national security, and again called on European countries to take action against hate crimes directed against Muslims. “I believe that the EU institutions have a great responsibility when it comes to tackling Islamophobia. The European Council cannot continue to ignore Islamophobia,” he underlined.

“Islamophobia spreads in the West like a plague”

“I see how hatred towards Islam and Muslims spreads through (Western) societies like a plague… I ask Merkel: if you have freedom of religion, then how is it possible that more than 100 policemen raided mosques (a few days ago in Germany) during a morning prayer,” asked Erdoğan, who on the contrary assured that Turkey” has authentic religious freedom.”

The reactions in Turkey and in other Muslim countries against France come after Macron said last Wednesday that he would not prevent the publication of cartoons that insult the prophet Muhammad on the grounds of freedom of expression; days before, Macron himself had said in a Muslim quarter of Paris that Islam “is in crisis throughout the world”, promising measures against what he defined as “Islamic separatism.”

The debate over Islam in France has nevertheless heated up in recent days after an 18-year-old boy of Chechen origin who had had contact with extremist groups in Syria beheaded his teacher, Samuel Paty, who had argued that the cartoons on Muhammad were an example of freedom of expression.

Macron needs mental treatment, says Erdoğan

On Saturday Erdoğan said that his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron needs “mental treatment” for his hostility against Islam precisely in France, which is the country with the largest Muslim minority: it is estimated that about 10% of the population profess this religion, although the real figure could be higher, and in some southern cities or in certain neighbourhoods of Paris the percentage is around 50%.

What problem does Macron have with Islam and Muslims? He needs mental treatment,” the Turkish president said during a congress of his AKP party organised on Saturday in the Anatolian province of Kayseri. “What can you say about a head of State who treats millions of members of a religious minority in his country in this way? First of all, he needs a mental check-up,” he insisted.

In response to Erdoğan’s remarks about Macron for his attacks against Islam, France announced that same day that it was recalling its ambassador to Turkey, Herve Magro, for consultations, calling the Turkish president’s words about his French counterpart “unacceptable.”