Macron is a sponsor of terrorism, says Turkish international minister

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at a press conference in Ankara, 28 November 2019Picture copyright
EPA

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Turkish Overseas Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave a powerful response to feedback by President Macron


Turkey’s international minister has accused French President Emmanuel Macron of being a “sponsor of terrorism”, dismissing the French chief’s criticism of Turkey’s Syria offensive.

Mevlut Cavusoglu instructed reporters that Mr Macron needed to be the chief of Europe however was “wobbling”.


Final month Mr Macron angered Turkey by internet hosting an official from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Turkey views a piece of the group – the YPG – as terrorists.

The spat between Turkey and France comes within the week earlier than the 2 Nato allies are on account of attend a summit of the alliance within the UK.

Does the US contribute an excessive amount of to Nato?
What’s Nato?

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Macron mentioned he stood by feedback made three weeks in the past when he described Nato as “mind useless”.

He mentioned members of the alliance wanted a “wake-up name” as they have been not co-operating on a variety of key points.

He additionally criticised Nato’s failure to reply to the navy offensive by Turkey in northern Syria.

What did Cavusoglu say?

Addressing reporters in parliament on Thursday, Mr Cavusoglu mentioned: “He [Macron] is already the sponsor of the terrorist organisation and consistently hosts them on the Elysee. If he says his ally is the terrorist organisation… there’s actually nothing extra to say.

“Proper now, there’s a void in Europe, [Macron] is attempting to be its chief, however management comes naturally.”

Turkey was angered when Mr Macron held talks in Paris on eight October with SDF spokeswoman Jihane Ahmed.

Mr Macron’s workplace mentioned the assembly was to specific France’s solidarity with the SDF in its battle in opposition to the Islamic State group, and in addition to reiterate considerations in regards to the prospect of a Turkish navy operation in Syria.

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Getty Photographs/TURKISH DEFENSE MINISTRY

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Turkish and Russian forces are finishing up joint floor patrols in northern Syria

A day later, Turkey launched an offensive in northern Syria to create a “secure zone” cleared of Kurdish militias.

Ties between Turkey and its Nato allies have been beneath pressure since Ankara purchased the superior Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system earlier this yr.

The very last thing Nato wants

With solely days earlier than subsequent week’s temporary Nato summit exterior London, this row between France and Turkey is the very last thing the alliance wants.

It illustrates how occasions in north-eastern Syria are straining relations inside Nato. President Macron has repeatedly criticised each Washington’s abrupt withdrawal of help for the Kurds and Turkey’s associated offensive into Syria – two strategic selections that have been taken with out consulting different Nato allies.

Turkey, for its half, sees France as far too pleasant in the direction of the Kurds. It needs Nato as a complete to again its place in Syria. Above all this episode underscores Turkey’s drift away from Nato and the West. Its buy of a complicated Russian air defence system is a unprecedented step for a Nato ally.

The issue is that Turkey’s measurement and geographical place make it an essential, albeit for a lot of a hard, participant in Nato regardless of some analysts questioning if it actually ought to be within the alliance in any respect.

What did the French president say?

Mr Macron was talking at a information convention with Nato Secretary Normal Jens Stoltenberg, within the week earlier than alliance leaders meet within the UK for its 70th anniversary.

In a 7 November interview, Mr Macron harassed what he noticed as a waning dedication to the transatlantic alliance by its fundamental guarantor, the US. Allies mentioned on the time they disagreed together with his evaluation.

“I completely stand by elevating these ambiguities as a result of I imagine it was irresponsible of us to maintain speaking about monetary and technical issues given the stakes we at the moment face,” he mentioned on Thursday.

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Reuters

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Mr Macron (R), pictured with Mr Stoltenberg, has been crucial of Nato’s failure to reply to Turkey’s offensive

“A wake-up name was vital. I am glad it was delivered, and I am glad everybody now thinks we should always reasonably take into consideration our strategic objectives.”

On Turkey, he mentioned he revered its safety pursuits after it suffered “many terrorist assaults on its soil”.

However he added: “One can’t on one hand say that we’re allies, and with respect to this demand our solidarity; and alternatively, put its allies within the face of a navy offensive finished as a ‘fait accompli’ which endangers the motion of the coalition in opposition to Islamic State, which Nato is a part of.”

Mr Macron mentioned Nato wanted to make clear who or what the alliance stood in opposition to, including that he disagreed that Russia or China have been the enemies.

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Media captionGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel has disagreed strongly with the French president

What is the problem with Nato?

US President Donald Trump’s abrupt determination to tug most US forces out of north-eastern Syria in October took European Nato members without warning.

The transfer opened the way in which for Turkey to push into Syria and create what it termed a safety zone alongside its border. Kurdish forces, which had been serving to the US battle the Islamic State group, have been expelled from the realm.

Mr Trump has steadily accused European Nato members of failing to offer their justifiable share of navy spending and for relying too closely on the US for his or her defence.