Macron to Erdogan: 'Democracies must respect rule of law'

Marsha Scott
January 6, 2018

"We have had a very honest discussion on this subject", Macron told reporters, saying both sides needed to leave "hypocrisy" behind in pretending the process was moving forward normally.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday called on French businesses in Paris to take part in Turkey's economic growth.

Mr Macron was speaking during a joint news conference with Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Paris.

Commenting on the possibility of Turkey turning its back on Europe he added: 'One can not permanently implore and wait to be finally included'.

President Tayyip Erdogan said he would discuss defence cooperation with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally France during his visit to Paris on Friday, highlighting an "important" step which Turkey would be taking with the Franco-Italian EUROSAM defence consortium.

Ties between Turkey and the European Bloc deteriorated past year after authorities in several countries prevented Turkish ministers from holding political rallies to court expatriates' votes in a referendum to expand the president's powers.

Ankara was hoping to warm frosty relations with Europe during Erdogan's trip, but the talks were overshadowed by concerns over Turkey's huge post-coup crackdown and the arrest of journalists.

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Erdogan unleashed a series of insults at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, accusing European officials of racism, harbouring terrorists and behaving like Nazis.

For his part, Erdogan said the wait for European Union membership was becoming "exhausting" for Turkish citizens.

Turkey first submitted its European Union - then EEC - accession application in 1987, but the two parties remain divided on several fronts, including human rights issues. "And, at first they were preventing us via 15 [EU policy] chapters; later the number of the chapters regarding us was increased to 35".

Macron and Erdogan also discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the fight against terror and the war in Syria.

Erdogan's government has also arrested tens of thousands of officials, academics and activists in the wake of a botched coup attempt in 2016, drawing criticism from rights advocates.

"Turkey is ruled by law", Erdogan said at the press conference.

During his stay, the Turkish president held a private meeting with his French counterpart at the Elysee Palace.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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