Duvar English - ReutersTurkey's deputy culture minister calls Charlie Hebdo 'bastards, sons of bitches' after Erdoğan cartoon
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that Western countries mocking Islam wanted to "relaunch the Crusades," heightening a confrontation with France over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that have stirred anger in Muslim-majority countries.
In a speech to lawmakers of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in parliament, Erdoğan said that standing against attacks on the prophet was "an issue of honour for us," suggesting Ankara may be digging in for a prolonged standoff.
"They literally want to relaunch the Crusades. Since the Crusades, the seeds of evil and hatred have started falling on these [Muslim] lands and that's when peace was disrupted," he said.
The row with France flared after a French teacher who showed pupils cartoons of the Prophet published in the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo was beheaded in France this month. The caricatures are considered blasphemous by Muslims.Turkish gov't in fury over Charlie Hebdo's Erdoğan cartoon
Furthering Turkish anger, Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon on its cover showing Erdoğan sitting in a white t-shirt and underpants, holding a canned drink and lifting the skirt of a woman wearing an Islamic hijab to reveal her naked bottom.
The West was "once again headed to a period of barbarity," Erdoğan said, describing colonial powers as "murderers" for their record in Africa and the Middle East.
"Unfortunately, we live in an era when hostility towards Islam, Muslims and disrespect for the prophet, is spreading like cancer, especially among leaders in Europe," he said, adding that France, and Europe in general, deserve better than the recent "vicious, provocative, and hateful policies" of French President Emmanuel Macron.
"We call on prudent Europeans to take action against this dangerous trend on behalf of themselves and their children for a bright future," he said.
"They tried to excuse the insults against Prophet Mohammad under the guise of freedom of expression. However, no Muslim can be a terrorist, nor can any terrorist be a Muslim" Erdoğan also said.