France summons Turkish ambassador upon Erdoğan’s insults

The French foreign ministry has decided to summon Turkey’s ambassador following insulting comments by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Reuters reported on Friday.

“On the latest excesses by the Turkish president, these are not statements, these are insults,” a ministry official was quoted by Reuters as saying. The ministry will expect a clarification by Erdoğan, according to the official.

Erdoğan had said earlier on Friday that French President Emmanuel Macron “should check whether (he is) brain dead,” speaking before the NATO summit in London next week, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Erdoğan called Macron’s comments on Nov. 7 “an example of a sick and shallow understanding,” and said Turkey’s efforts to defend its own sovereignty and borders were faced with intolerance.

Macron had said in an interview with the Economist that NATO had been experiencing brain death due to weak planning and coordination in the alliance, which was made apparent by Turkey’s aggression in Syria.

Macron had said pushing Turkey out was not in NATO’s interest, adding that perhaps the alliance should consider redefining itself.

Erdoğan said Macron has no authority to decide whether Turkey should be in NATO or not, and called the French president “inexperienced.”

Turkey has been the topic of discussions before the NATO summit, which will start on Dec. 3 in London, due to its military incursion into Kurdish-held northern Syrian territories, as well as with regard to the U.S. nuclear weapons that are housed in the İncirlik Air Base in the country’s southern province of Adana, close to the Syrian border.

The U.S. has been considering taking the nuclear weapons out of Turkey, or replacing them with duds.