Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused European politicians in Ankara on Monday of being hostile to Islam, calling them “links in the chain of the Nazis”. “Hostility to Islam and Muslims has become a policy in some European countries that is personally encouraged and supported at the level of heads of state,” he said.
Erdogan has accused Europe, and in particular French head of state Emmanuel Macron, of Islamophobia for days on end, and on Monday, as well as at the weekend, has questioned the mental health of the French president.
“You are in the truest sense of the word fascists,” he continued. “Today, Muslims are undergoing a similar lynching campaign that was waged against Jews in Europe before World War II.”
Hostility to Islam and Muslims is spreading “like a plague” in Europe. The Turkish president also criticized a raid on a Berlin mosque on suspicion of corona subsidy fraud.
Erdogan refers to freedom of belief
“Of course, I also appeal to Chancellor Merkel from here. Should you have freedom of belief? .. How is it possible that more than 100 police officers attack the mosque during a morning prayer? Erdogan said. Such a thing cannot happen in Turkey, “because we have real freedom of belief”.
Earlier, the German government condemned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statements 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.
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Erdogan also called for a boycott of French goods on Monday. 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.
Maas expresses “great understanding” for Macron
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, dpa, Tsp)