Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Thursday dismissed French President Emmanuel Macron’s critique of Turkey’s offensive in Syria against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia, saying the French leader sponsors terrorism.
“He is already the sponsor of the terrorist organization and constantly hosts them at the Élysée. If he says his ally is the terrorist organization … there is really nothing more to say,” Çavuşoğlu told reporters in parliament.
Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist organization and launched an offensive in northeast Syria on Oct. 9.
Last month Macron met with Jihane Ahmed, spokeswoman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), of which the YPG is a significant part, to express France’s solidarity with them in their fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.
Earlier on Thursday, Macron said Turkey cannot expect solidarity from NATO allies at the same time that it launched its Syria offensive as a “fait accompli.”
Çavuşoğlu added: “Macron cannot be the leader of Europe by vacillating like this. Right now, there is a void in Europe, and he is trying to be its leader.”