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Turkey to take legal, diplomatic steps against French caricature of Erdogan

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Demonstrators hold a sign reading

The president expressed his hope that those that care about human rights will hear and consider the matter. France has recalled its ambassador to Ankara.

Naturally, France's opponents in the worldwide arena immediately took advantage of this, primarily Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who attacked Macron with criticism and called for a boycott of French goods.

Its official spokesman, Mohamed Al-Giblawi, said the French president's insulting statements of the noble Prophet fuel feelings of hatred for political party gains.

Macron's accompanying defence of the media's right to mock religion has stirred angry protests across Turkey and swathes of the Muslim world.

The statements come in response to comments made earlier this month by Macron, who has increasingly targeted radical Islam in a series of controversial speeches.

Chechnya's strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov accused Mr Macron of provoking Muslims and compared the French leader to a "terrorist".

An 18-year-old of Chechen origin beheaded near Paris on October 16 a teacher who had shown caricatures of Muhammad in class.

These included a remark from Erdogan that questioned Macron's mental health over his stance on Islam.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has been one of the most vociferous critics of the French government, leading calls for a boycott of French goods.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his ruling party lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara Turkey Wednesday
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his ruling party lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara Turkey Oct. 28 2020

France is the 10th biggest source of imports into Turkey and the seventh biggest market for Turkish exports, according to Turkey's statistical institute. They should stand up and defend their religion.

He added that Islam is accepting of all other religions, stating that a Muslim can not claim full faith until he acknowledges all messengers of God.

Later in the day, French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published its Wednesday's cover, depicting a caricature of Erdogan sitting in a white T-shirt and underpants and holding a canned drink, along with a woman wearing an Islamic hijab. "As a result of we have now freedom of the press", Macron mentioned.

Following the attacks, Turkish officials issued statements in solidarity with victims of the shooting.

Previous Turkish calls for boycotts of foreign goods have fizzled out, but Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank on Tuesday urged businesspeople to enforce the boycott.

"Today, he no longer seems to value that pretense", Tahiroglu told Al-Monitor.

"They are just showing their own vulgarity and immorality".

Macron refused to condemn the republishing of the cartoon, arguing that "France has freedom of expression".

"Westerners ought to perceive that the Prophet of Islam is a love of all Muslims and freedom-seekers of the world", the president mentioned. "Those who represent them are also our enemies".

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