October 27, 2020 08:09
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Turkish citizens to boycott French goods in response to what he says is France's "anti-Islam" agenda.
During a televised speech Monday, he also called for European Union countries to pressure France to end French President Emmanuel Macron's efforts to fight what he called "Islamist separatism." Macron has said separatism threatens to take over some Muslim communities in France.
"Never give credit to French-labeled goods. Don't buy them," Erdogan said, according to the BBC. He added that "European leaders should tell the French president to stop his hate campaign."
Tensions between the two NATO allies have risen in recent months as Macron vowed to defend secularism in the wake of the public beheading of a French teacher earlier this month by a Muslim militant over cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad.
Macron called Islam a religion "in crisis," the BBC reported, and announced measures to stem what he called separatism. France has the largest Muslim community in Western Europe.
Just how much of an impact a boycott would have remains to be seen. France is the 10th largest source of imports to Turkey. France is also Turkey's seventh biggest market for exports, Reuters reported.
France and Turkey have also clashed recently over policy in Syria and Libya, as well as Turkish oil and gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. More recently, the two have been at odds over the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
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