Diplomacy. Turkey takes a step towards France, and towards Europe

    Diplomacy. Turkey takes a step towards France, and towards Europe

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday he was ready to “put back on track” relations between Turkey and the European Union, crossed by strong tensions on many issues, including exploration for hydrocarbons in the Mediterranean eastern.

    “We are ready to get our relations back on track,” Erdogan said during a speech to EU country ambassadors stationed in Ankara. “We hope that our European friends will show the same will”.

    Tensions exacerbated in the fall

    Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu declared that his country was ready to “normalize” its relations with France despite the strong tensions between the two countries over several issues: disagreements over Syria, Libya, the Eastern Mediterranean and more recently the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno Karabakh.

    But tensions were exacerbated in October when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a boycott of French products and questioned Emmanuel Macron’s “sanity”, accusing him of carrying out a “campaign of hate” against him. Islam for defending the right to caricature the Prophet Muhammad, and for his speech against Islamist “separatism” in France.

    Even at the beginning of December, the Turkish president had expressed the hope that France would “get rid of its president as soon as possible”.

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