The German government has condemned statements by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about French President Emmanuel Macron. “These are defamatory statements that are completely unacceptable,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin on Monday.
This is unacceptable “, especially against the background of the murder of an Islamic fanatic” against French teacher Samuel Paty, Seibert said.
Erdogan had said Macron should be in psychiatric treatment. On Monday he also called for a boycott of French goods. The reason for this was that Macron declared at a state ceremony for decapitated teacher Samuel Paty last Wednesday that France would not do without caricatures and drawings “even if others would withdraw from it”.
Paty had shown Mohammed cartoons from the satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo” in a lesson on freedom of speech. An 18-year-old had the teacher beheaded in the street on October 16.
[Wenn Sie aktuelle Nachrichten aus Berlin, Deutschland und der Welt live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können.]
A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman pointed out that Secretary of State Heiko Maas (SPD) had also expressed “great understanding” for Macron’s position. Maas had previously described Erdogan’s statements as “completely unacceptable”.
Anyone who “equates the fight against Islamic extremists simply with racism and Islamophobia is acting nothing but irresponsible, playing in the hands of those who want to divide our society.”
The verbal exchange of blows comes at a time when both presidents are under domestic political pressure. The already bleak economic situation in Turkey has deteriorated again against the background of the Corona crisis. Emmanuel Macron, on the other hand, grapples with the frustration of many Muslims in his country about economic exclusion on the one hand and criticism of growing communitarianism on the other. (AFP, Reuters, Tsp)