Turkey's Erdogan calls for boycott of French goods

"I call on my people here. Never give credit to French-labelled goods, don't buy them," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said

October 26, 2020 06:16 pm | Updated 10:10 pm IST - Ankara, Turkey

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. File

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. File

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday joined calls for a boycott of French goods, ramping up a standoff between France and Muslim countries over Islam and freedom of speech.

Also read: France reacts after Erdogan questions Macron’s mental health

Mr. Erdogan has led the charge against President Emmanuel Macron over his robust defence of the right to mock religion following the murder of a French schoolteacher who had shown his class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

‘Mental checks needed’

On Monday, the Turkish leader added his voice to calls in the Arab world for citizens to spurn French goods.

“Never give credit to French-labelled goods, don’t buy them,” Mr. Erdogan, who caused a furore at the weekend by declaring that Macron needed “mental checks,” said during a televised speech in Ankara.

Also read: France reacts to boycott calls; Erdogan ups Macron insults

French goods have already been pulled from supermarket shelves in Qatar and Kuwait, among other Gulf states, whereas in Syria people have burned pictures of Mr. Macron and French flags have been torched in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

The October 16 beheading of high-school teacher Samuel Paty by a Chechen extremist caused deep shock in France.

Paty had shown his pupils some of the Mohammed cartoons over which 12 people were massacred at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in 2015.

Also read: Turkey hits out at France over sea stand-off

In the aftermath of Paty’s murder, Mr. Macron issued a passionate defence of free speech and France’s secular values, vowing that the country “will not give up cartoons.”

As the backlash over France’s reaction widened, European leaders rallied behind Macron.

European support

German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned Erdogan’s “defamatory” remarks about the French leader.

The Prime Ministers of the Netherlands and Greece also expressed support for France, as did European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.

Also read: Emmanuel Macron says Islam ‘in crisis’, unveils anti-radicalism plan

Mr. Erdogan on Monday compared the treatment of Muslims in Europe to that of Jews before Second World War, saying they were the object of a “lynching campaign.”

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.