Macron humiliated: Turkey brands French President ‘hysterical’ in scathing attack

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Relations between Turkey and France – both of which are members of NATO – have worsened in recent weeks over conflicting policies in Syria, Libya and latterly Turkey’s dispute with Greece over energy resources. Ankara has accused Paris of backing Libya’s Khalifa Haftar against the Tripoli-based government which is recognised by the United Nations, having previously provided him with military assistance to fight Islamist militants – claims which Paris denies.

Mr Cavusoglu said: “Things changed, balances shifted.

“Haftar was defeated and Macron became hysterical.”

Turkey and France also clashed in June after a French warship tried to inspect a Turkish vessel as part of a UN arms embargo against Libya.

Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Cavusoglu also said Turkey had prevented Haftar from capturing the Libyan capital of Tripoli by lending military support for the Government of National Accord (GNA), repelling Haftar’s assault in June, dashing French hopes in the process.

Mr Cavusoglu said of Mr Macron: “With that hysteria, he didn’t know what to do.

“Right after that, he said our ships had harassed their ships in the eastern Mediterranean but couldn’t document this and was humiliated.”

There is no need for such hysterical behaviour from France, it makes them look laughable

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

Neither Mr Macron’s Elysee office nor the French foreign ministry has yet commented on Cavusoglu’s remarks.

France has backed Greece in the east Mediterranean, joining military drills with Italy, Greece and Cyprus amid conflicting Greek-Turkish claims in relation to continental shelves in areas of exploration for oil and natural gas.

Mr Cavusoglu said: “There is no need for such hysterical behaviour from France, it makes them look laughable.

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“We are two NATO member countries.”

Speaking earlier this week, Mr Macron said: “We have to create Pax Mediterranea, because we see an imperial regional power coming back with some kind of fantasies of its own history, and I am referring to Turkey.

“What France did this summer was important, it is a policy of red lines.”

“I do not believe that in recent years Turkey’s strategy has been that of a NATO ally when you have a country attacking the Exclusive Economic Zones or the national sovereignty of two European Union member states.

“What would be our credibility in handling the issue of Belarus if we did not respond to attacks on the national sovereignty of our member states?

“Germany and other partners are beginning to agree with us that Turkey’s agenda is problematic now.

“While six months ago some people said that only France blames Turkey for various things, now everyone sees that there is a problem.”

However, speaking last month, Dr Alexander Kazamias, of the University of Coventry, told “It is unwise in such a situation to send more warships to the region.

“France’s reactions can fuel more tension instead of containing it.”

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