The Turkish president is once again attacking French policy. Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday evening described the bill against “separatism” in France as “a guillotine blow inflicted on French democracy”. These statements come as deputies and senators meeting Wednesday in a mixed committee have not managed to agree on the text.
The adoption of this law “is openly in contradiction with human rights, freedom of religion and European values,” said the Turkish head of state during a speech in Ankara. Believing that the current version of the text “would serve extremism”, Recep Tayyip Erdogan also criticized him for “putting the NGOs under pressure” and “forcing young people to choose between their beliefs and their education”.
Counterterrorism as a bargaining chip
“It is obvious that such a bill will cause unrest among the Turkish community and millions of Muslims. (…) We call on the French authorities, first and foremost President Macron, to act with common sense. We expect this bill to be withdrawn as soon as possible, ”he announced. The Turkish president also declared that Turkey was ready to “work with France” in the fields of the fight against terrorism and “integration”.
This interference in French affairs is not a first. The adoption last January by the French Council of Muslim Worship of the “Charter of the principles of Islam in France” had already aroused the ire of the Turkish president, pushing him to accuse his French counterpart of being against Muslims. Last October, Recep Tayyip Erdogan also questioned the “mental health” of Emmanuel Macron, accusing him of leading a “campaign of hatred” against Islam, because he had defended the right to caricature the Prophet Muhammad and for his speech against Islamist “separatism” in France.