Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has accused French President Emmanuel Macron of being a “sponsor of terrorism” in reaction to Macron’s critique of Turkey’s offensive in Syria against the Kurdish YPG militia, ABC News can report.
Last month Mr Macron hosted a senior official from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Turkey views a section of the group – the YPG – as terrorists.
Addressing reporters in parliament on Thursday, Mr Cavusoglu said: “He [Macron] is already the sponsor of the terrorist organisation and constantly hosts them at the Elysee. If he says his ally is the terrorist organisation… there is really nothing more to say.
“Right now, there is a void in Europe, [Macron] is trying to be its leader, but leadership comes naturally.”
Earlier on Thursday, Macron said that Turkey cannot expect solidarity from NATO allies at the same time that it launched its Syria offensive as a “fait accompli.”
Turkey was angered when Mr Macron held talks in Paris on 8 October with SDF spokeswoman Jihane Ahmed.
Mr Macron’s office said the meeting was to express France’s solidarity with the SDF in its fight against the Islamic State group and also to reiterate concerns about the prospect of a Turkish military operation in Syria.
Meanwhile, Cavusoglu insists that the French President is sponsoring terrorists in a quest to become the leader of Europe.
“Macron cannot be the leader of Europe by wobbling like this. Right now, there is a void in Europe, he is trying to be its leader,” he added.