“Monsieur Macron, you have not put an end to any problems with me,” the Turkish president said, directly attacking Emmanuel Macron for the first time in connection with the Mediterranean oil exploration conflict.
The tone has risen between Paris and Ankara. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday (September 12) warned his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron not to “seek quarrels with Turkey”, as tensions between the two countries escalate over the situation in the eastern Mediterranean.
“Do not seek quarrels with the Turkish people, do not seek quarrels with Turkey,” the Turkish head of state launched in a televised speech in Istanbul, referring to the harsh criticism leveled by his French counterpart at Ankara in connection with the conflict between Turkey and Greece over oil exploration in the Mediterranean.
On Thursday, Emmanuel Macron and his six southern EU counterparts called on Turkey to end its policy of “confrontation” in the eastern Mediterranean and threatened it with European sanctions if Ankara continues to challenge Greece’s gas exploration rights and Cyprus in the region.
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The tenant in the Elysee Palace had also considered that the Turkish government “today had unacceptable behavior” and had to “clarify its intentions”. For his part, Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday called on Greece to “stay away” from “wrong” measures supported by countries such as France in the eastern Mediterranean. France strengthened its military presence in the region last month.
“Mr Macron, you have not stopped having problems with me,” said the Turkish president, attacking for the first time directly and by name his counterpart.
French support for Greece
Recep Tayyip Erdogan also accused him of “lack of historical knowledge” and considered France “unable to teach Turkey a lesson in humanity” due to its colonial past in Algeria and its role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Turkey claims the right to exploit hydrocarbon deposits in a maritime area that Athens considers to be under its sovereignty. In recent weeks, the two countries have shown their muscle with declarations of war, military maneuvers and transports to the area.
France has clearly shown its support for Greece by deploying warships and fighter jets in the region, an initiative strongly condemned by the Turkish president.