Turkey’s Erdogan says French Macron has ‘lost his way’ in second verbal attack

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday Emmanuel Macron had “lost his way”, in his second sharp criticism of the French leader in two days over the treatment of Muslims.

On Saturday, Erdogan said Macron had a problem with Muslims and needed mental checks – a rebuke that caused France to recall its ambassador from Ankara.

“The person in charge of France has lost his way. He goes on about Erdogan all day. Look at yourself first and where you are going. I said in Kayseri yesterday, he is a case and he really must be checked up,” Erdogan said in a televised speech in the eastern province of Malatya.

The French leader this month declared war on “Islamist separatism”, which he believes is taking over some Muslim communities in France.

France has since been shaken by the beheading of a teacher by an Islamist militant, avenging the use of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression.

NATO members Turkey and France have been at loggerheads over issues including Syria and Libya, maritime jurisdiction in the eastern Mediterranean, and the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Macron’s office said on Saturday France had gathered its European partners, who share France’s demand that Turkey puts a stop to its “dangerous adventures” in the Mediterranean and in the region.

It said Erdogan had two months to respond or face measures, noting the absence of a condolence message from Turkey’s leader after the history teacher’s death last week.

Erdogan is a pious Muslim and since his Islamist-rooted AK Party first came to power in 2002, he has sought to shift Islam into the mainstream of politics in Turkey, an overwhelmingly Muslim but constitutionally secular country.

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