Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu locked horns with a French lawmaker over French President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to mark April 24 as a day of commemoration of the Armenian genocide. Cavusoglu’s comments came during a NATO meeting in Antalya on Friday, after which the French delegation reportedly walked out.
“Countries like France are used to one thing, they like bossing around, they like criticising other countries, they like putting other countries down and they make all decisions as they like and they blame others,” Cavusoglu said as others in the meeting could be heard shouting back.
Cavusoglu went on to criticise Macron’s decision, saying that in order to delegate a historic event as a genocide or not, a rigourous historical evaluation must take place, and that it was not for politicians to make such decisions, adding “so, how can you come up with such a precise decision with your short knowledge of history. The only reason for this decision is populism. And unfortunately, your president has been defeated by this populism”
Cavusoglu then said France is the last country that should lecture Turkey on the subject of genocide.
“Regarding genocide throughout history: the last country that can lecture us about it is France. Because we never forgot what happened in Rwanda, we never forgot about what happened in Algeria. And France should be looking at their own dark history and stop lecturing Turkey,” he said.