France reacts to boycott calls; Erdogan ups Macron insults

France reacts to boycott calls; Erdogan ups Macron insults


PARIS (AP) — French authorities denounced Turkish “propaganda” against France that they said was aimed at fanning hate at home and abroad, and asked Sunday for calls to boycott French products cease immediately, saying such attacks were the work of a “radical minority.”

Meanwhile, the president of Turkey took a second insulting swipe at French President Emmanuel Macron in a growing, potentially high-risk dispute.

A day after saying that Macron needed his head examined for condoning caricatures of the prophet of Islam, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that the French leader has “lost his way.”

In an unusual move, France announced Saturday it was recalling its ambassador for consultations.

The French Foreign Ministry said in a statement Sunday evening that its diplomats were mobilizing to ask countries where boycotts were being organized or hate calls issued not to back them, and to provide assurances that French citizens would be safe.

“In numerous countries of the Middle East, calls to boycott French products...and more generally, calls to demonstrate against France, in sometimes hateful terms, have been relayed on social media,” the French Foreign Ministry said. It added that such calls “denature” France's positions on freedom of expression and conscience.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and a bloc of Muslim nations condemned, without using insults, remarks by Macron last week in which he refused to condemn the publication or showing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

France considers religious satire to be among the kinds of speech that fall under the freedom of expression, while many Muslims consider any perceived attack on their prophet as a grave offense. An 18-year=old of Chechen origin beheaded near Paris on Oct. 16 a teacher...

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