Posted on Sep 13, 2020
“Don’t mess with the Turkish people. Don’t mess with Turkey,” Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan said during a televised speech in Istanbul on the 40th anniversary of the 1980 military coup which resulted in three years of vicious military rule.
Macron has strongly condemned Ankara during the current standoff between Greece and Cyprus on one side and Turkey on the other over hydrocarbon resources and naval influence in the eastern Mediterranean.
We remain deeply concerned by Turkey’s ongoing operations surveying for natural resources in areas over which Greece and Cyprus assert jurisdiction over the eastern Mediterranean. Increased military tensions help no one but adversaries who would like to see division in transatlantic unity. Countries in the region need to resolve disagreements, including on security and energy resource and maritime issues diplomatically and peacefully.
On Thursday (Sept 10th) the French president told a summit of the EU’s seven Mediterranean nations, which have threatened Turkey with sanctions over its activities, that Europeans must be “clear and firm with, not Turkey as a nation and people, but with the government of President Erdoğan, which has taken unacceptable actions”.
Erdoğan responded by threatening “Mr Macron, you’re going to have more problems with me."
"You already don’t have much time. You’re on your last legs,” he said.
The next French presidential election will be in April 2022. A recent survey conducted by Ifop-Fiducial for CNews and Sud Radio in France suggests that Macron will face a strong challenge from Marine le Pen, and a significant decline from the levels of support he enjoyed in 2017.
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