Overseas minister lashes out at Ankara’s ‘declarations of violence and hatred’ as Macron insists he’s combating ‘extremism’, not Islam.

France on Thursday condemned what it mentioned had been “declarations of violence” by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and raised the opportunity of new sanctions in opposition to Ankara.

Erdogan has been feuding bitterly with French President Emmanuel Macron on plenty of geopolitical flashpoints and, extra just lately, France’s combat in opposition to what it calls “radical” Islam.

“There are actually declarations of violence, even hatred, that are often posted by president Erdogan that are unacceptable,” French Overseas Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian instructed Europe 1 radio.

Erdogan has joined calls from throughout the Muslim world to boycott French merchandise in response to Macron’s statement that Islam was a faith “in disaster” globally, saying the French president needed mental therapy over his views on Islam.

Tensions have been additional heated as Macron, prime officers and the French public renew their assist for the fitting to point out caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, that are deeply offensive to Muslims as they usually conflate Islam and violence.

Turkey vowed Wednesday to “reply within the firmest method potential” to France’s ban of the Turkish ultra-nationalist Gray Wolves group.

“It’s not solely France that’s focused, there’s a whole European solidarity on the topic – we would like Turkey to surrender this logic,” Le Drian mentioned.

The European Council, he added, has already determined to take measures in opposition to the Turkish authorities, and “now it is vital for the Turks to take the required measures to keep away from this.

“There are technique of stress, there’s an agenda of potential sanctions.”

Macron insists not in opposition to Islam

In the meantime, Macron has underlined that his nation is combating “Islamist separatism, by no means Islam”, responding to a Monetary Instances article that he claimed misquoted him and has since been faraway from the newspaper’s web site.

In a letter to the editor printed on Wednesday, Macron mentioned the UK paper had accused him of “stigmatising French Muslims for electoral functions and of fostering a local weather of concern and suspicion in direction of them”.

“I can’t permit anyone to assert that France, or its authorities, is fostering racism in opposition to Muslims,” he mentioned.

An opinion article written by a Monetary Instances correspondent and printed on Tuesday alleged that Macron’s condemnation of “Islamic separatism” risked fostering a “hostile surroundings” for French Muslims.

The article was later faraway from the paper’s web site and changed with a discover saying it had “contained factual errors”.

The renewed assist for the fitting to point out the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad comes amid the trial for the lethal 2015 assaults on the workers at Charlie Hebdo; the satirical journal republished the pictures because the trial started. Because the fallout between Macron and Erdogan, it has printed a provocative caricature of the Turkish chief, additional angering Ankara.

The assist additionally comes after final month’s homicide of trainer Samuel Paty – who had proven his class a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad.

Following the protests and boycotts of French items the world over, Macron instructed Al Jazeera over the weekend he understood the caricatures might be surprising for some.

However recounting a wave of assaults in France since 2015, Macron warned in his letter this week there have been nonetheless “breeding grounds” for “extremism” in France.

“In sure districts and on the web, teams linked to radical Islam are instructing hatred of the republic to our kids, calling on them to ignore its legal guidelines,” he wrote.

“That is what France is combating in opposition to … hatred and demise that threaten its kids – by no means in opposition to Islam. We oppose deception, fanaticism, violent extremism. Not a faith.”

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