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Erdogan slams 'brain dead' Macron over NATO comments

  • 29 Nov 2019

Turkey's President Erdogan slams Emmanuel Macron over the latter's criticisms of NATO alliance, saying it was Macron who was suffering "brain death".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the groundbreaking ceremony of Recep Tayyip Erdogan Complex at Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey on November 29, 2019. ( AA )

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out on Friday at counterpart Emmanuel Macron over his criticisms of NATO, saying it was the French president who was suffering "brain death".

"I am talking to France's President Emmanuel Macron and I will also say this at NATO. First of all, have your own brain-death checked," Erdogan said.

"These statements are suitable only to people like you who are in a state of brain-death," he added.

Erdogan was commenting in a speech in Istanbul about a remark made by Macron earlier this month saying NATO was experiencing "brain death".

These remarks come after French critics of Turkey's Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday accused France of supporting terrorism. 

"He is already the sponsor of the terrorist organisation and constantly hosts them at the Elysee. If he says his ally is the terrorist organisation ... Macron's words, in my eyes, have no meaning," Cavusoglu said.

"Right now, there is a void in Europe, (Macron) is trying to be its leader, but leadership comes naturally," he told reporters in parliament.

Meanwhile, Turkey's communications director also slammed Macron over his remarks. 

Blaming NATO for France's poor policy choices and growing strategic irrelevance is unfair to the longstanding alliance, Fahrettin Altun said on Friday.

Turkey has been a key member of the NATO alliance and has played a crucial role since the beginning, says Turkey’s presidential communications director.(AA Archive)

"It is unfair to the French people as well,” Altun wrote on Twitter.

Implicitly slamming French President Macron for saying Turkey should not expect NATO support for its anti-terror operation in northern Syria, Altun said NATO can be more relevant and effective if its members work together.

"Every responsible member state and their leaders need to bring their suggestions for reform while pursuing common interest and security for all," he wrote on Twitter.

"We can transform this organisation that corresponds to the security challenges of our time," Altun said.

He added that at every NATO leaders' summit, Turkey puts forth recommendations and calls on its fellow members to understand Turkey’s national security concerns.

"Turkey has been a key member of the NATO alliance and has played a crucial role since the beginning," he wrote.

Turkey on October 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey's borders.

Under two separate deals with the US and Russia, Turkey paused the operation to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the planned Syria safe zone.

But the terrorists have failed to withdraw from some areas and continue to attack both soldiers and civilians.

The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist organisation. 

In its 30-year terror campaign against the Turkish state, more than 40,000 people, including women and children, have been killed.

Turkey, the US and the EU recognise the PKK as a terrorist organisation.

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