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Turkish head Erdogan calls for boycott of French goods

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. AFP

Turkish head Erdogan calls for boycott of French goods

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday joined calls for a boycott of French goods, ramping up a standoff between France and Muslim countries over Islam and freedom of speech.

Erdogan has led the charge against President Emmanuel Macron over his robust defence of the right to mock religion following the murder of a French schoolteacher who had shown his class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

On Monday, the Turkish leader added his voice to calls in the Arab world for citizens to spurn French goods.

“Never give credit to French-labelled goods, don’t buy them,” Erdogan, who caused a furore at the weekend by declaring that Macron needed “mental checks”, said during a televised speech in Ankara.

After Turkey was accused by France of remaining silent over Paty’s killing on October 16, Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on Monday denounced the “monstrous murder”, adding that “nothing” could justify the attack.

French goods have already been pulled from supermarket shelves in Qatar and Kuwait, among other Gulf states, whereas in Syria people have burned pictures of Macron and French flags have been torched in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

France’s largest employers’ federation on Monday urged companies to “resist the blackmail” over the boycott calls.

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