Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday warned his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron “not to mess” with Turkey, as tensions between the NATO allies escalate.
“Don’t mess with the Turkish people. Don’t mess with Turkey,” Erdogan said during a televised speech in Istanbul on the 40th anniversary of the 1980 military coup.
“You will have many more problems with me,” he added.
On Friday, Marcon said that Europe needed to be “clear and firm” with Erdogan’s government over its actions.
France and Turkey, both NATO members, have been at odds over an arms embargo for Libya and over the situation in the eastern Mediterranean, where Paris is supporting Greece and Cyprus, who say Turkey is looking for oil and gas in their waters. Turkey says it has equal rights to the resources in those waters.
Erdogan also said France has no right to criticize Turkey, considering its colonial record.
Turkish foreign policy has recently taken a hawkish turn in the Middle East and North Africa. From a diplomatic row with NATO ally France over a Libyan arms embargo to the deployment of special forces in northern Iraq, Ankara seems newly willing to challenge allies and enemies alike in its pursuit of a larger role on the world stage.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP)