Why is Turkey Accusing Macron of Behaving Like 'Crowing Cockerel'?

Published October 2nd, 2019 - 08:59 GMT
French President Emmanuel Macron (AFP)
French President Emmanuel Macron (AFP)
Highlights
"Turkey, where the rule of law is regressing, judicial procedures opened against defenders of human rights, journalists and academics should be the subject of our vigilance," he said

Turkey on Tuesday accused French President Emmanuel Macron of behaving like a "crowing cockerel" after he criticised Ankara on human rights and said it was using migrants to pressure the European Union.

"Macron assailing Turkey amounts to overstepping the limit," Mevlut Cavusoglu told the official Anadolu news agency.

"I liken him to a cockerel crowing while his feet are buried in mud," he said.

Macron told the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in a keynote speech that 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall key human rights were being called into question in some European countries, citing Turkey as an example where the situation was going backwards.

"Turkey, where the rule of law is regressing, judicial procedures opened against defenders of human rights, journalists and academics should be the subject of our vigilance," he said

Cavusoglu also attacked Macron's comments in the same speech in which he implied that Turkey could be using its control over migrant routes to press the EU for concessions on Syria policy.

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"How many refugees has Macron let in his country?" asked Cavusoglu, hitting out at the French leader for hosting at the Elysee palace Syria Kurdish militia representatives deemed to be "terrorists" by Ankara.

Last month, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Turkey would start allowing Syrian refugees to move on to Europe if Ankara did not get more international support.

Turkey is home to more than 3.6 million Syrian refugees and recently called for a "safe zone" in the war-torn country's northeast to which they could return.

In Strasbourg, Macron noted there had been an increase in migrants leaving Turkey for Greece and he was "fully aware" of what Greece was experiencing.

"You are perfectly right to say that this is a means of pressure by Turkey," he said in response to a question from a Greek lawmaker.

He said he did not think the right response would be "to give into pressure", adding there still had to be cooperation with Turkey.

"But in no way can our agenda in Syria be dictated by pressure from Turkey."

Greece is hosting some 70,000 mostly Syrian refugees and migrants who have fled their countries since 2015, and crossed over from neighbouring Turkey.

Under an agreement reached with the European Union in 2016, Turkey has made greater efforts to limit departures towards the five Greek islands closest to its shores.

But the number of arrivals has been steadily climbing in recent months causing a dangerous burden in the camps of the islands that are in the forefront of the migrant influx.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


Copyright @ 2021 The New Arab.

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