Turkey has stopped insulting us but still needs to take concrete action, France says

Published March 3, 2021
France's President Emmanuel Macron gestures next to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a photo opportunity at the Nato leaders summit in Watford, Britain, December 4, 2019. — Reuters/File
France's President Emmanuel Macron gestures next to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a photo opportunity at the Nato leaders summit in Watford, Britain, December 4, 2019. — Reuters/File

Turkey has stopped insulting France and the European Union, providing some reassurance, but ties will remain fragile until it takes concrete action, France’s foreign minister said.

Ankara has repeatedly traded barbs with Paris over its policies on Syria, Libya, the eastern Mediterranean and other issues, but the Nato members said in February they were working on a road map to normalise relations.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday as part of those efforts.

“There aren’t any more insults and the language is more reassuring,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told a parliamentary hearing late on Tuesday.

He said that the removal of Turkish research vessels from Cypriot waters in the eastern Mediterranean and Ankara showing a desire to resume talks with Greece over a long-standing maritime dispute were positive signs.

“It’s fragile, because the list of disagreements is very long, but we want a healthy relationship with Turkey,” he said pointing to differences over Libya, Iraq and Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Actions are needed and we will be able to position ourselves when those actions are carried out. For now it’s just verbal action,” he said.

'Macron is trouble for France'

Earlier in December, Erdogan had said that he hoped France would get rid of Emmanuel Macron as soon as possible in what was the latest salvo in an escalating war of words between the two leaders.

The spat had risen to new levels in the past couple of months as France moved to crack down on extremism after several attacks on its soil.

“Macron is trouble for France. With Macron, France is passing through a very, very dangerous period. I hope that France will get rid of Macron trouble as soon as possible,” the president had told reporters in Istanbul.

In September, Macron’s comments on the simmering eastern Mediterranean standoff, which pitted Turkey against Greece and the rest of the EU, drew Ankara’s wrath. “The people of Turkey, who are a great people, deserve something else,” Macron had said while discussing Erdogan’s approach to the crisis.

Macron subsequently told Al-Jazeera in October that France’s wish was for the situation to “calm down” but for that to happen, it was essential that the “Turkish president respects France, respects the EU, respects its values, does not tell lies and does not utter insults”.

Opinion

Missing I.A. Rehman’s wisdom
18 Apr 2021

Missing I.A. Rehman’s wisdom

Does the state of Pakistan, all institutions included, have the political will to address the runaway intolerance in society and
Ostrich approach
18 Apr 2021

Ostrich approach

The logic of blocking social media to contain protests is flawed.
Wings of mediation
18 Apr 2021

Wings of mediation

ADR benefits could ensure the expeditious settlement of tax disputes.
Banning Mr Rizvi
17 Apr 2021

Banning Mr Rizvi

Sooner than later, fanatics start to pull their own strings.

Editorial

18 Apr 2021

More cabinet changes

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan has reshuffled his cabinet yet again in what is obviously another attempt to shore up his...
Blocking social media
Updated 18 Apr 2021

Blocking social media

FOR four hours this week, all social media platforms in the country were shut down, a measure the government said ...
18 Apr 2021

Peasant rights in Sindh

IN a seminar held in Nawabshah recently, the Sindh Human Rights Commission and Hari Welfare Association reiterated a...
17 Apr 2021

Pak-India mediation

QUESTIONS had been swirling about what and who has prompted the latest detente between Pakistan and India. Now, it...
17 Apr 2021

Energy exploration

SOME exploration and production companies want the government to prioritise offshore exploration — a high-risk...
17 Apr 2021

Professor’s removal

IN a step that will go far in sending a message of reassurance to female students and academic staff in ...