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Turkey slams Macron’s backing for ‘dictator’ weekly cover

Turkey slams Macron’s backing for ‘dictator’ weekly cover

Turkey slams Macron’s backing for ‘dictator’ weekly cover
May 29
21:50 2018

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has lashed out at French President Emmanuel Macron over his support for a weekly magazine which recently described the Turkish leader as a “Dictator.”

“Democracy is not just limited to accepting insults, curses and lies by one side but also taking into account the point of view and sensitivities of the other,” Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter on Tuesday in response to a tweet by Macron.

“What goes beyond that is hypocrisy. And it's in response to that the Turkish community in France has expressed its civilian and democratic reaction,” Cavusoglu added.

In its latest edition on Thursday, the French weekly Le Point published an investigation into Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, wondering in an editorial, “Is Erdogan a new Hitler?” The weekly also depicted Erdogan on its cover with the title “Dictator” on the top.

In reaction to the report, the purported supporters of Erdogan made it a tough week for Le Point by forcefully removing or covering up the advertisements for the weekly from newsstands in France over the weekend.

In a tweet on Monday, Macron slammed the actions of the pro-Erdogan supporters as “totally unacceptable,” stressing such posters could not be removed just because they displeased “the enemies of liberty.”

“You cannot put a price on freedom of the press, without it, it is dictatorship,” he added.

Le Point’s controversial issue comes ahead of the presidential election in Turkey, set for June 24, with the Turkish president running for a second term.

Erdogan announced snap elections on April 18, saying holding the votes more than a year earlier than planned was needed to enable his party to make the constitutional changes narrowly approved in a last year referendum, which will give him sweeping new powers.

He has also faced increasing criticism over his championing of the presidency system as many fear it could lead to his authoritarian rule in the Anatolian country.

Those fears have been exacerbated by an ongoing crackdown against people whom the government deems as linked to a failed coup two years ago or those alleged to have helped Kurdish militancy in the country. 

Tens of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having links to US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara to have masterminded the coup, while more than 150,000 others, including military staff, civil servants and journalists, have been sacked or suspended from work over the same accusations since Erdogan intensified the crackdown following the botched putsch.

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