Turkish FM hits back at Macron over French magazine’s Erdoğan cover
Turkish officials on May 29 hit back at French President Emmanuel Macron over his criticism of Ankara’s remarks regarding a weekly magazine that referred to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as “the dictator.”
In a tweet, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu backed Erdoğan supporters in France who tried to tear down images of the front cover story on newsstands.
“Democracy is not just limited to accepting insults, curses and lies by one side but also taking into account the point of view and sensitivities of the other,” Çavuşoğlu wrote on Twitter on May 29 in reply to a tweet by Macron.
“What goes beyond that is hypocrisy. It is in response to that that the Turkish community in France has expressed its civil and democratic reaction,” he added.
A group of Erdoğan supporters targeted several newsstands in the southern French city of Avignon over the weekend, attempting to remove and cover up advertisements for Le Point, the magazine said.
Another poster of the front cover - featuring a portrait of Erdoğan with the headline “The Dictator. How far will Erdogan go?” - was also targeted by the supporters of the Turkish president, Agence France-Presse reported.
Macron had written on Twitter that the actions of the Erdoğan supporters were “totally unacceptable” and such posters could not be removed just because they displeased “the enemies of liberty.”
“You cannot put a price on freedom of the press, without it, it’s dictatorship,” he said.
The controversy comes on the eve of Turkey’s June 24 elections .
Ties between Ankara and Paris started the year warmly with a visit by Erdoğan to France for a bilateral summit with Macron but have chilled in recent months over disputes on Syria.