Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a fiery speech on Monday, called for a boycott of all French goods owing to the deteriorating relations between the NATO allies over Paris's stance against radical Islam. Erdogan said Muslims are subjected to a lunch campaign similar to Jews in Europe before World War II.
President Erdogan's remarks were made during an event at the Beştepe Presidential Complex in the capital Ankara on Monday. He even accused some Western leaders of championing Islamophobia while calling them fascists.
"You are in a real sense fascists, you are in a real sense the links in the chain of Nazism," said Erdogan, without giving any names, AFP reported. "Muslims are now subjected to a lynch campaign similar to that against Jews in Europe before World War II."
The boycotting of French goods are underway in supermarkets in Qatar and Kuwait. There are further calls to boycott French products in Jordan and other states.
Erdogan vs Macron
Erdogan's comments come only days after he called for French President Emmanuel Macron to under mental health checkup. Ties between the leaders of both countries have been fierce over France's criticism of Turkey over Ankara's actions in the war-torn countries and ongoing conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.
The tensions escalated in Turkey after France would not give up cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed, which resulted in the murder of a French teacher in Paris. Samuel Paty, a history teacher, was killed in the street after he had shown cartoons of the prophet during a class about free speech.
Following the incident, Macron pledged to fight Islamist separatism in the country. He even hailed Paty as a hero for representing the secular, free-thinking values of the French republic. "He was killed because Islamists want to take our future," Macron said at a memorial for Paty. "They will never have it."
Macron's stance has escalated tensions between France and Turkey. In retaliation, Paris recalled its envoy to Ankara. German Chancellor Merkel condemned the defamatory Erdogan criticism of Macron.