ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has advised his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron to undergo mental treatment to help over his attitude towards Muslims.
“What is the problem of this person called Macron with Muslims and Islam? Macron needs treatment on a mental level,” Erdogan said in a speech in the central Turkish city of Kayseri.
“What else can be said to a head of state who does not understand freedom of belief and who behaves in this way to millions of people living in his country who are members of a different faith?” Erdogan added.
Turkey and France are both members of the NATO military alliance, but have been at odds over issues including Syria and Libya, maritime jurisdiction in the eastern Mediterranean, and the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Erdogan is a pious Muslim and since his AK Party first came to power in 2002, he has sought to shift Islam into the mainstream of politics in Turkey, an overwhelmingly Muslim but constitutionally secular country.
The Turkish president had also said on Oct. 6 that Macron’s comments on Islamist threats were “a clear provocation” and showed “impertinence”.