Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday lambasted his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, over his criticism of NATO, saying it was the French president who was suffering “brain death,” AFP reported
“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. These statements are suitable only for people like you who are in a state of brain death,” Erdoğan said in a televised speech.
He was referencing Macron’s much-publicized claim that NATO was suffering “brain death” due to the lack of strategic cooperation among members.
“You know how to show off, but you cannot even properly pay for NATO. You are a novice,” Erdoğan said.
“Believe me, Macron is very inexperienced. He doesn’t know what fighting against terrorism is. That’s why the yellow vests invaded France,” he added, referring to the French protest movement of the past year.
Macron has strongly opposed Turkey’s military offensive against Kurdish militants in Syria launched last month and reiterated on Thursday that it “endangers the actions of the anti-ISIL [Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant] coalition, of which NATO is a member.”
Erdoğan said Ankara had a right to intervene in Syria given their shared border. “What is your business in Syria?” he said, addressing Macron.
“Jump up and down as much as you like … you will respect Turkey’s right to fighting against terrorism sooner or later. There’s no other way.”