Turkish President Erdogan urges European leaders to end "hate campaign" against Muslims and Islam led by French President Macron.
In an escalation of the row between France and Turkey over Paris tolerating and encouraging anti-Muslim sentiment, Turkey’s president has called for a sweeping public boycott of French-made goods.
"I call on our people to never buy French products," Erdogan said at the opening ceremony of a week in the capital Ankara honouring the birth of the Prophet Muhammad; insulting cartoons of him in France fed the row.
He called on European leaders to stop what he said was a "hate campaign" led by his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron against Muslims.
"European politicians should say 'stop' to the hate campaign led by French President Macron," Erdogan said, repeating on the third successive day that the French leader needed mental checks.
Decrying rising anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe, he said hostility to Islam and Muslims has become state policy in some European countries, a policy which enjoys support at high levels.
Addressing his fellow world leaders, he urged, "If there is persecution in France, let’s protect Muslims together."
He went on to say that as the European Parliament speaks up on every issue related to Turkey, it would be wrong for it to stay silent in the face of rampant anti-Muslim sentiment.
Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron described Islam as a religion "in crisis" and announced plans for tougher laws to tackle what he called "Islamist separatism" in France.
He condemned the murder of a French teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class, and said France would "not give up our cartoons."
Several Arab countries, as well as Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan, have condemned Macron’s attitude toward Muslims and Islam, with Erdogan saying on Sunday that the French leader needs "mental treatment."
After Erdogan’s remarks, France recalled its ambassador to Turkey.