French President Emmanuel Macron accused Turkey of adopting a “bellicose” stance towards its NATO allies, in an interview broadcast Saturday, saying tensions could ease if Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed respect and did not tell lies.
“Turkey has a bellicose attitude towards its NATO allies,” he told Al-Jazeera, condemning Turkey’s behaviour in Syria, Libya and the Mediterranean.
He said that France’s wish is that things “calm down” but for this to happen, it is essential that the “Turkish president respects France, respects the European Union, respects its values, does not tell lies and does not utter insults”.
He noted that France had offered its condolences to Turkey following the deadly earthquake in the Aegean and had also offered to send help to the scene.
He described Turkey’s intervention in Syria as a “surprise and “aggression” for NATO allies and said Ankara had not respected an arms embargo in Libya while showing a “deeply aggressive” attitude in the eastern Mediterranean.
“I note that Turkey has imperial inclinations in the region and I think that these imperial inclinations are not a good thing for the stability of the region, that’s it.”
There have been weeks of tensions between France and Turkey, which reached a peak last weekend when Erdogan questioned the mental health of Macron.
France responded by taking the highly unusual step of recalling its ambassador to Ankara for consultations.