Verbal attack reflects tension between Turkey and France on multiple fronts.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned Emmanuel Macron not to “mess with Turkey” in the latest sign of high tension between Ankara and Paris.
Erdoğan told the French president in a televised speech on Saturday that he was “going to have more problems with me,” AFP news agency reported.
“Don’t mess with the Turkish people. Don’t mess with Turkey,” he said.
The verbal broadside comes after the French president leveled criticism at Ankara earlier in the week, saying that Turkey was “no longer a partner” in the Mediterranean region.
France and Turkey are at loggerheads over a range of issues, including a tense dispute over territorial waters between Ankara and Athens in the Eastern Mediterranean and the conflict in Libya.
France has given military and diplomatic support to Greece in its confrontation with Turkey. Complicating matters, France, Greece and Turkey are all NATO members.
In his rhetorical attack on Saturday, the Turkish president also took aim at France’s recent history, mentioning Algeria and the Rwandan genocide. And he said France’s actions in Libya are guided by a desire “for petrol.”
Erdoğan took aim at Macron again in another speech on Saturday evening, AFP reported.
“Macron, you already don’t have much time. You’re on your last legs,” he declared.