Erdogan to Macron: ‘You cannot lecture us on humanity’
Turkish president recalls France’s massacres in Algeria, Rwanda, says Macron doesn’t have knowledge of history
Recalling France’s massacres in Algeria and Rwanda, the Turkish president said the French president “cannot lecture us on humanity.”
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s remarks came at a symposium held on Democracy and Freedom Island against coup.
In a direct reference to President Emmanuel Macron, Erdogan said “You [Macron] have no knowledge of history. You do not know the history of France.”
“You cannot lecture us on humanity,” he added, recalling the massacres in Algeria where some 1 million people were killed and in Rwanda where 800,000 people were murdered.
“Do not mess with Turkey and Turkish people,” Erdogan added.
Earlier on Thursday, ahead of a summit of southern EU member states, Macron reportedly said: “We must be tough with the Turkish government and not with the Turkish people, who deserve more than the Erdogan government.”
“Turkey is no longer a partner in the Mediterranean region,” said the French president, claiming NATO ally Turkey had some unacceptable encounters with a French ship off the coast of Libya.
Turkey on Thursday condemned Macron over his “arrogant” remarks made with “colonial reflexes”. In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Macron endangers EU interests with his “individual and nationalistic stance.”
Regarding Greece’s recent acts in the Aegean Sea, Erdogan said: “They [Greece] trust those who promise to support them, they are wandering around the islands in corvettes, wandering around with zodiacs.
“You are doing the wrong job, do not take these paths. You will be left all alone,” he added.
The Turkish president underlined that Turkey makes its own decisions and implementing them with wisdom. “There is Turkey capable of handling any kind of struggle, if necessary,” he added.
Tensions have recently escalated over the issue of energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Greece has disputed Turkey's energy exploration in the region, trying to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast. French President Emmanuel Macron has interceded in support of Athens, despite lacking any Eastern Mediterranean coastline.
Turkey -- the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean -- has sent out drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have rights in the region.
In order to reduce tensions, Turkey has called for dialogue to ensure fair sharing of resources.
‘Any game of guardianship not legitimate’
During his speech, Erdogan also touched upon the importance of the people’s will and democracy, saying: “[About] any coup or coup attempt in Turkey, we need to know that any game of custody, especially guardianship is not legitimate, it is not national, it is not innocent, it is not honorable.”
He went on to say that since Turkey started to implement own plans through the country’s parliament, presidency, judiciary, ministries, institutions, especially the army and diplomacy, it has progressed much more quickly.