Prime Minister Mark Rutte has criticised Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erodgan for his insulting comments against France’s president, Emmanuel Macron. 

In a televised speech on Saturday, President Erdogan said Emmanuel Macron “needs psychiatric help.”

Erdogan has accused France of initiating a witch-hunt against Muslims, referring to a speech Macron made about a plan to end Islamic separatism. 

The French government, in turn, responded by recalling its ambassador from Ankara.

In a tweet, Rutte joined in the argument, expressing support for the common French and European values. He said Erdogan’s comments were “unacceptable” and “the Netherlands stands for free speech and against extremism.” The criticism was communicated in Dutch, English and French.

Spurred by the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty by a Muslim extremist (from which they’ve received no sympathising message from Turkey), France is investigating people and organisations who have been sympathetic with the terrorist attack. 


Referring to Islam as a “religion in crisis”, Macron is planning for new measures against extremist Muslim groups and mosques that pose a threat to democracy.

Other nations chime in

Around the EU, other politicians have joined in the quarrel as well. EU foreign affairs minister Josep Borrell has called on Erdogan to end this “dangerous spiral of confrontation.” 

German Chancellor Merkel says she found Erdogan’s statements “defamatory.” 

In other parts of the world, people have been outraged with France, setting fire to the French flag. 

In Bangladesh, people have taken to the streets to demonstrate against France, carrying signs with a caricature of the French president and the words, “Macron is the enemy of peace.” 

Wilders stirs the pot

Adding fuel to the fire (per usual), PVV leader Geert Wilders shared a cartoon on Twitter showing Erdogan wearing a bomb with a burning fuse for a hat, with the text, “Terrorist.”


President Erdogan, also poured some gasoline on this dumpster fire and filed a complaint with his lawyer against Wilders, saying the politician had insulted the Turkish head of state. 

What do you make of all this confrontation? Should the Netherlands be involved? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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