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France's Darmanin to Turkey: Stay out of France's domestic affairs

FILE PHOTO: French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, wearing a protective face mask, makes a phone call as he leaves following the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - Turkey should not meddle in France’s domestic affairs, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Tuesday, after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called for a boycott of French goods, citing French leader Emmanuel Macron’s “anti-Islam” agenda.

Erdogan’s comments on Monday were the latest expression of anger in the Muslim world over images being displayed in France of the Prophet Mohammad, which some Muslims consider blasphemous. Erdogan also questioned Macron’s mental health, prompting Paris to recall its ambassador in Ankara.

“It should shock each one of us that foreign powers are meddling with what is going on in France,” Darmanin told France Inter radio, adding he was referring to Turkey and Pakistan, where parliament passed a resolution urging the government to recall its envoy from Paris.

“Turkey should not meddle with France’s domestic affairs,” Darmanin added.

The row has its roots in a knife attack outside a French school on Oct. 16 in which a man of Chechen origin beheaded Samuel Paty, a teacher who had shown pupils cartoons of Mohammad in a civics lesson on freedom of speech.

President Emmanuel Macron, who met representatives of France’s Muslim community on Monday, has pledged to fight “Islamist separatism”, saying it was threatening to take over some Muslim communities in France.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Catherine Evans

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