After an accusation by Turkey’s prime minister that France violates freedom of religion, a member of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly rejected this. Muriel Marland-Militello’s retort to Recep Tayyip Erdogan was to ask whether religious minorities are respected in Turkey.
The prime minister then said: “You don’t know what it’s like in Turkey. In Turkish, when someone misses the point, we say he is French.”
Another member in the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly objected to Erdogan’s manner.
Jean-Claude Mignon said: “The way he gave my French parliamentary colleague the brush-off — who dared to question him, even more so since she’s of Turkish origin — I find quite dishonest. I’d say it was clumsy rather than dishonest, answering as he did.”
France’s ban on full face veils went into force on Monday.
Erdogan also stressed Turkey’s eligibility for membership in the EU, noting it had copied France’s law on secularism.
Further contributing to the atmosphere of criticism is the case of journalists behind bars in Turkey for their alleged ties to the shadowy ultra-nationalist organization Ergenekon in Turkey.
Euronews correspondent in Strasbourg Audrey Tilve said: “To cut the critics short, Erdogan announced that a special envoy from the Council of Europe will be sent to Turkey, specifically to look into the question of media freedom.”
Thinly veiled attacks as Turkey and France row over veil ban