"First...have your own brain death checked": Turkish President to French President Macron

InIn yet another escalation of the war of words between Turkey and France, the Turkish President rebuked his French counterpart's criticism of Turkish occupation of Syrian Kurdish areas

Just a week prior to the 70th NATO summit to be held in UK on December 3-4, major cracks seem to be emerging in the 'North Atlantic Treaty Organization' (NATO), created in 1949 by the western nations, as a military counter-weight, against Soviet and its satellite nations in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

'Check your brain death'


In a major rebuke to his French counterpart, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "French President Mr Macron, I am telling you in Turkey and I will say in NATO, first check your own brain death". This was in retaliation to an earlier statement by the French President three weeks ago in which he described NATO as "brain dead".

Turkish President was attending the groundbreaking ceremony of Recep Tayyip Erdogan Complex at Istanbul's Marmara University, where he made the above comments, Anadolu Agency reported. He further said that France has no right and authority to be in Syria. "The [Syrian] regime also hasn't invited you there," Erdogan said, addressing the French leader.

"To remove or not to remove Turkey from NATO ... Do you have the authority to make such a decision?" Erdogan added.

'Macron...a sponsor of terrorism'

Turkish President's comments came a day after his Foreign Minister called French President Emmanuel Macron "a state sponsor of terrorism". His comments came a day after, the French President said that he stands by his NATO "brain dead" comment.

Talking to reporters, Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu said, "He [Macron] is already the sponsor of the terrorist organisation and constantly hosts them at the Elysee [official residence of French President]. If he says his ally is the terrorist organisation... there is really nothing more to say."

"Right now, there is a void in Europe, [Macron] is trying to be its leader, but leadership comes naturally," he added.

President Macron invited SDF spokeswoman Jihane Ahmed, to Paris, for talks. The next day, Turkey launched 'Operation Peace Spring' in north-eastern Syria, that caught its NATO allies, by surprise. The region is chiefly inhabited by ethnic Kurds.

Kurdish militias known as YPG has been major NATO allies in its fight against the Islamic States. YPG has close relations with Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, USA and EU.

'A wake-up call..'

In a news conference along with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, on Thursday, President Macron stood by his "brain dead" comment and said "A wake-up call was necessary. I'm glad it was delivered, and I'm glad everyone now thinks we should rather think about our strategic goals."

On Turkey, Macron said that he respected its security interests, but added, "One cannot on one hand say that we are allies, and with respect to this demand our solidarity; and on the other hand, put its allies in the face of a military offensive done as a 'fait accompli' which endangers the action of the coalition against Islamic State, which Nato is part of."

US President Donald Trump's sudden withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria, paved the way for Turkish offensive into the Kurdish areas, last month.