France recalls ambassador after Erdoğan attacks Macron over Islam

France recalled its ambassador to Turkey on Saturday after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared that Emmanuel Macron needs “mental treatment” over his view of Islam, news agencies reported.

Erdoğan has repeatedly taken aim at the French president in recent months. Turkey and France are at loggerheads over a range of issues, including a dispute over territorial waters between Ankara and Athens, the conflict in Libya and Azerbaijan’s Armenian separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“What’s the problem of the individual called Macron with Islam and with the Muslims? Macron needs mental treatment,” Erdoğan said Saturday in an apparent reference to the French president’s recent vow to fight radical Islamism.

The Turkish leader’s latest broadside crossed a line for Paris.

A French presidential official said that the ambassador was being recalled from Ankara for consultations and would meet with Macron to discuss the situation, Agence France-Presse reported.

“Outrage and insult are not a method,” Macron’s office said, according to Reuters.

At the start of this month, Macron gave a landmark speech on his strategy to counter what he described as the ways radical Islam has infiltrated French society. Some commentators said the speech reflected a nuanced approach but others portrayed it as offensive to Muslims.

Macron renewed his pledge to crack down on radical Islamism after an attacker last week beheaded a teacher who had shown cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed in a class on freedom of speech in a school near Paris.

Andrew Gray contributed reporting.

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