France-Turkey relations: "We’ve reached a level unacceptable between allies"

Turkey – Reply by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a question in the Senate

Paris, 4 November 2020

The questions you ask are legitimate and totally relevant. We’ve got a long list of very serious disagreements with Ankara. And as you said, we expect Ankara first of all to ensure that Turkey stops its belligerent behaviour in the European neighbourhood. Turkey’s unilateral action in the eastern Mediterranean, its aggressive policy in Libya and its policy in Nagorno-Karabakh are fomenting major instability.

Yet in the past few weeks we’ve reached a level in our relations with Turkey which is unacceptable between allies. The insults, the slander, the desire to foster a campaign of hatred towards France and Europe, are totally different in nature; they’re threats! So we expect the Turkish President and his government to put an immediate stop to this behaviour. Nor will we tolerate this hatred and violence being exported to French territory, relayed by very small groups for which there should be no place.

And I’d also like to say that the unanimous way the whole of Europe reacted in solidarity demonstrates that this isn’t just about a Franco-Turkish dispute, but rather attacks against Europe, its values and its model of fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. And I’d like to reiterate that the European Council set a deadline in October, even before the escalation which I’ve seen and you’ve seen; the deadline was that if Turkey doesn’t fundamentally and in concrete terms alter its posture before the December European Council, we’ll take the necessary measures at European level against the Turkish authorities. You’ve proposed a list and as regards this position of the December deadline, I must say here that all options are on the table./.

Published on 05/11/2020

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