Turkey on Monday condemned the decapitation of French teacher Samuel Paty after France expressed disappointment over the lack of an official condemnation by Ankara.
“We strongly condemn the monstrous murder of Samuel Paty in France and we reject this barbarism. There is nothing legitimate about this murder,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin tweeted.
Paty was attacked in the street on October 26 and killed for showing his students cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed during a class on free speech.
French President Emmanuel Macron has angered Muslim-majority countries including Turkey which is officially secular, with a hardened stance against radical Islam that began to emerge before Paty’s murder.
After Erdogan repeatedly called for Macron to get mental health checks, Paris responded by recalling its ambassador to Ankara.
On Sunday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian expressed disappointment that Turkey had not issued a condemnation of the teacher’s murder.
Kalin also defended Muslim’s anger over the caricatures of their prophet, meanwhile.
“Some may not understand how we love our Prophet more than ourselves. They may not get their heads around how we see an insult to him as an insult to us. They may call our affection ‘fanaticism’. That is their misfortune,” Kalin said.
“We will explain this to them persistently and in the best way possible,” he added.
Following Le Drian’s remarks on Sunday, the Turkish foreign ministry said the country was “saddened” by Paty’s murder, a message that was conveyed to French authorities by its ambassador to Paris.