Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call to boycott French products because of Paris’ tolerance and encouraging attitude toward Islamophobia, was welcomed by the Turkish business world.
French President Emmanuel Macron described Islam as a religion “in crisis” and announced plans in September for tougher laws to tackle what he calls “Islamist separatism.” He condemned the murder of a French teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class, but said France would “not give up our cartoons.”
Several Arab countries, as well as Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan, have condemned Macron’s attitude toward Muslims and Islam and encouraged boycott of France-origin goods.
Read more: ‘Do not mess with Turkey’: Turkish President Erdogan takes on France’s Macron
Abdurrahman Kaan, the head of the Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen Association (MUSIAD), said the French government’s cartoon move cannot be accepted as freedom of thought or expression.
French officials should depart from the unfair attitude in order to prevent damage to the Turkish and French political, cultural and trade relations.
This systematic attack by insulting religious symbols of Islam in the person of Prophet Muhammad continues in the known magazine, he noted and said the magazine started to attack Erdogan.
Not sure how far Turkish boycott of French goods and cultural products could go. France is the West European country with most cultural and political legacy in Turkey. I can word boycott statement in Turkish using almost only French-origin words: “Bürokratlar boykot empoze etti”
— Soner Cagaptay (@SonerCagaptay) October 27, 2020
“This separatist attitude, which is hurtful, based on ignorance and raising the Islamophobia, is absolutely unacceptable,” he told Anadolu Agency. “We declare that we stand behind the rightful and appropriate reaction of our president in this regard.”
Business leaders’ messages
Orhan Aydin, chairman of the Anatolian Lions Businessmen Association (ASKON), said Macron’s expressions were based on ideas relayed by the French leader.
Read more: Explainer: What is behind the rise of Islamophobic politics in France?
“Stopping French President Emmanuel Macron means stopping Islamophobia, fascism and colonialism,” he said, before adding that the boycott should be implemented by other societies that are standing against those three things.
Gursel Baran, the head of Ankara Chamber of Commerce, said: “We cannot be indifferent to the persecution of Muslims, neither in France nor anywhere else in the world.” “With every French product you purchase, you will support the persecution,” he said.
Bendevi Palandoken, the head of the Confederation of Turkish Tradesmen and Craftsmen, also voiced support for Erdogan’s boycott demand. “Our people should participate in the boycott campaign and should not demand French origin products from our tradesmen,” he said.
Read more: Is Macron trying to make amends?
The chair of the Istanbul Commodity Exchange Ali Kopuz said France is openly hostile to Islam and Turks. “We must boycott French goods. This will be the most correct response we will give,” he said.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk