France’s foreign minister has called for more action from Turkey to fix the fragile ties between the two nations, despite accepting that Ankara has taken steps to cool tensions by ceasing insulting Paris and the European Union.
Turkey and the European Union have been in a war of words in recent months, as tensions rise between the two sides, particularly Ankara and Paris, over French President Emmanuel Macron’s approach toward tackling radical Islam and religious extremism domestically and abroad.
Back in October 2020, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan questioned Marcon’s mental state, saying that he needed his head examined over his remarks about “Islamist separatism” and failure to condemn caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad.The Turkish leader went further with attacks on European leaders, accusing them of being “fascists in the true meaning of the world” and calling them the “link in the Nazi chain.”
In return, the EU’s Josep Borrell called Erdogan’s comments “unacceptable” and warned that his actions could create a “dangerous spiral of confrontation” between the two sides.
The mounting disputes have been seen as a barrier to diplomatic conversations between the two groups, with EU officials criticizing Erdogan for repeatedly attacking European nations and their leaders.
After a conversation between Ergodan and Macron on Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian praised how “there aren’t any more insults and the language is more reassuring,” with Turkey and Western nations working to produce a road map to normalize relations.
Actions are needed and we will be able to position ourselves when those actions are carried out. For now it’s just verbal action.
While one barrier toward increasing diplomatic ties has been addressed, France’s foreign minister called for the situation between Turkey and Greece over Cyprus to be resolved before conversations can proceed further.
Specifically, Le Drian said that Turkey must remove research vessels from waters around Cyprus, which is the latest flaring of tensions in the long-running territorial dispute between Ankara and Athens around who has the right to occupy the island.
Ahead of Le Drian’s remarks, Erdogan declared that Turkey and France could “make significant contributions to security, stability, and peace” if they engaged in cooperation. The Turkish president went on to express how he hopes that, following his call with Macron, Ankara and Paris “can act in solidarity.”
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