08-10-2021 09:42:49

Foreign Minister Çavuşoglu accuses French president of 'cheap approaches' ahead of 2022 elections

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu speaks at a news conference in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv after meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu Thursday slammed French President Emmanuel Macron's "extremely wrong," "populist" comments on Turkey and Algeria over colonialism.

Cavusoglu said in response to a question that "it is extremely wrong to drag Turkey, which does not have a black mark, such as colonialism, in its history, into such debates."

Noting that Algeria has already shown the "necessary reaction" over Macron's remarks, Cavusoglu reminded that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French President Macron previously agreed to "speak directly," not through the media.

"In this regard, we do think such statements are wrong," he added.

Pointing that France has entered the "election atmosphere" ahead of the 2022 presidential elections, he said: "Macron uses this way because of the elections."

"However, both in France and in other countries, we have seen that such cheap approaches do not help in the elections either," he added.

"Therefore, instead of such populist approaches, it would be better for him to take steps to gain the trust of his own people."

Tensions have escalated between France and Algeria over remarks made by Macron on the North African country’s colonial past.

In a bid to palliate its atrocious colonial past, Macron claimed that “there was a colonization before the French colonial rule” in Algeria, alluding to the Ottoman presence in the country between 1514 and 1830.

“The building of Algeria as a nation is a phenomenon worth watching. Was there an Algerian nation before French colonization? That is the question,” Macron said Thursday during a meeting with the descendants of Algerians at the Elysee Palace who fought on France’s side during Algeria’s war of independence.

Turkey-Ukraine ties

Speaking on relations between Turkey and Ukraine, Cavusoglu said: "Our bilateral relations with Ukraine are developing in many areas, especially in trade, tourism, and defense industry."

Cavusoglu also thanked Ukraine for the support in fighting the forest fires that started in southern provinces of Turkey in August, saying: "We will never forget this solidarity."

Emphasizing that bilateral trade volume will exceed the numbers of the period before the coronavirus pandemic, Cavusoglu said: "Due to the mutual recognition of vaccine certificates, the number of tourists also increases mutually, but the number of tourists coming to Turkey from Ukraine will reach 2 million. We will break a new record."

Adding that Turkey has always supported the establishment of the Crimean Platform, he said Turkey will continue joint efforts for the "well-being" of Crimean Tatars within the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

He also stressed the importance of solving the Donbass issue under international law and Ukraine's territorial integrity.