Tensions run high between France and Turkey

The Millennial Source
4 min readNov 2, 2020

This appeared in The Millennial Source

“You are fascists in the true meaning of the world. You are veritably the link in the Nazi chain,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told European leaders.

Tensions between France and Turkey have escalated in recent days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan questioned the mental sanity of French President Emmanuel Macron. In a statement on October 26, Erdoğan accused Macron of leading a “hate campaign” against Muslims.

The Turkish president’s comments come within weeks of an attack in Paris against a teacher who was beheaded after displaying depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. Erdoğan, in response to the attack, denounced France for condoning the teacher’s use of the caricature.

Many officials in the European Union (EU) have harshly criticized Erdoğan’s remarks. The European Commission suggested that the Turkish leader adapt his approach to avoid hindering attempts at resumed dialogue.

France-Turkey tensions

The discord seems to point directly to a territorial dispute between Turkey and Greece.

In July, Greece announced it had positioned ships in the Aegean in “heightened readiness” after Turkey revealed plans to carry out a drilling survey to examine gas and oil deposits in an area between Cyprus and Crete. Turkey has claimed the area around the islands as its own territory.

The increasing hostility between Turkey and Greece gave rise to Paris’s decision to “temporarily reinforce” its own military presence in the eastern Mediterranean in the hopes of defending Greece and Cyprus’ sovereignty.

Despite France’s decision, some argue that Turkey is not the aggressor in the fight for maritime rights.

“The mainstream media is supporting Western governments’ contention portraying Turkey as the aggressor in their attempt at an energy power grab through naval intimidation,” Albert Goldson, the Executive Director of the New York-based think tank The Cerulean Council, told TMS.

“Although Turkey has the largest economy in the region and the second-largest military in NATO, they have been deliberately excluded from critical agreements which…