Jan 08 2018

France could replace USA as Turkey’s strategic partner - pro-govt paper

The French President Emmanuel Macron appears to have found new friends in Turkey after his recent meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The Turkish pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah was full of praise for the French President in an editorial published on Sunday evening, which went so far as to claim that, under Macron’s rule, France “could replace the USA as Turkey’s strategic partner in the Middle East and elsewhere.”

Erdoğan’s France visit resulted in the signature of several financial, commercial, and defence deals, including a partnership with the French-Italian defence company Eurosam to build air-defence and long-range rocket systems. These, as well as Macron’s policies on the Jerusalem issue and towards the protests in Iran, drew plaudits from the Turkish newspaper.

As a result, the Daily Sabah claimed, Macron could enjoy a fruitful relationship with Erdoğan’s Turkey as long as he “distance[s] himself from populist rhetoric”.

The editorial was in equal measure critical of Trump’s America, claiming that Turkey had “lost confidence” in the USA, which had left a “power vacuum” that France could fill.