Erdogan Trades Barbs with Macron in ’Brain Death’ Dispute
By Staff, Agencies
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan engaged in a war of words with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron after the latter said NATO was dying owing to a lack of coordination between member states to respond to Ankara’s Syria offensive.
In an interview with The Economist magazine earlier this month, Macron said NATO was dealing with “brain death” due to the US being an unpredictable ally under its President Donald Trump and tensions with Turkey over Ankara's "crazy" incursion into northern Syria.
"You have no coordination whatsoever of strategic decision-making between the United States and its NATO allies. None," he said. "You have an uncoordinated aggressive action by another NATO ally, Turkey, in an area where our interests are at stake."
During a press conference alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Paris on Thursday, the French president said his comments about the “brain death” of NATO were a necessary "wake-up call."
He also criticized Turkey for presenting its NATO allies with a "fait accompli" by launching the Syria invasion that "endangers" the purported fight against Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group].
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu dismissed the criticism and accused the French leader of sponsoring terrorism.
"He is already the sponsor of the terrorist organization and constantly hosts them at the Elysee. If he says his ally is the terrorist organization... there is really nothing more to say," he said. Last month, Macron held a meeting with Jihane Ahmed, the spokeswoman for the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF], a US-backed alliance of mainly Kurdish militants, whom Turkey regards as terrorists.
On Friday, Erdogan lashed out at Macron, saying the French president should have his "own brain death" checked as his statements "are examples of a diseased, shallow understanding."
"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 to people like you who are in a state of brain death," he said.