ISTANBUL: Protesters raise their fingers during a demonstration against the French president on Sunday.—AFP
ISTANBUL: Protesters raise their fingers during a demonstration against the French president on Sunday.—AFP

ISTANBUL: The backlash against President Emmanuel Macron’s comments on Islam intensified on Sunday, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan again urging him to have “mental checks” and many Muslims demanding boycotts of France.

Speaking after teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded for showing sketches of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to pupils in a lesson on free speech, Macron vowed France would “not give up cartoons” and said Paty “was killed because Islamists want our future”.

But Erdogan on Saturday urged Macron to have “mental checks” for treating “millions of members from different faith groups this way” — comments which prompted Paris to recall its envoy to Ankara.

The Turkish leader doubled down on those comments on Sunday, accusing Macron of being “obsessed with Erdogan day and night”.

“(Macron) is a case and therefore he really needs to have (mental) checks,” he said in a televised speech in the eastern Anatolian city of Malatya.

Relations between Macron and Erdogan have become increasingly strai­ned over geopolitical issues ranging from a Greek-Turkish maritime dispute to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Anger at Macron spilt over into the streets in several Muslim-majority countries, with further demonstrations expected.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2020

Opinion

A velvet glove

A velvet glove

The general didn’t have an easy task when he took over, but in retrospect, he managed it rather well.

Editorial

Updated 24 May, 2022

Marching in May

MORE unrest. That is the forecast for the weeks ahead as the PTI formally proceeds with its planned march on...
24 May, 2022

Policy rate hike

THE State Bank has raised its policy rate by 150bps to 13.75pc, hoping that its latest monetary-tightening action...
24 May, 2022

Questionable campaign

OVER the past couple of days, a number of cases have been registered in different parts of the country against...
23 May, 2022

Defection rulings

By setting aside the existing law to prescribe their own solutions, the institutions haven't really solved the crisis at hand.
23 May, 2022

Spirit of the law

WOMEN’S right to inheritance is often galling for their male relatives in our patriarchal society. However, with...
23 May, 2022

Blaming others

BLAMING the nebulous ‘foreign hand’ for creating trouble within our borders is an age-old method used by the...