ANKARA

France’s president would do better to put his own country back on track before trying to give lessons to Turkey, said Turkey’s ruling party spokesman on Thursday.

Emmanuel Macron “should correct France’s route before lecturing Turkey,” Justice and Development (AK) Party spokesman Omer Celik wrote on Twitter.

Underlining that Macron is again in the wrong by supporting the Greek Cypriot administration’s unfair and unlawful activities in the Mediterranean – trying to halt Turkey’s legal energy exploration – Celik said: “He is making the same mistake in the Eastern Mediterranean he made in Libya. He recently claimed that a Turkish warship harassed a French ship, and his claim was disproved.”

A NATO probe of the June 10 alleged harassment episode did not back France’s claims, according to Turkey’s Ambassador to France Ismail Hakki Musa.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly told French President Macron the truth about Syria, Libya, Cyprus, and the Eastern Mediterranean, said Celik.

“Each time it was proven that what our president said was true and what Macron said was wrong. Macron, who calls for sanctions on Turkey, is the biggest supporter of the culprits responsible for the mass graves in Libya,” said Celik, referring to mass human remains found in areas recently occupied by warlord Khalifa Haftar.

Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country’s new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to a military offensive by Haftar’s forces.

The UN recognizes the Libyan government headed by Fayez al-Sarraj as the country’s legitimate authority, as Tripoli has battled Haftar’s militias since April 2019, a conflict that has taken over 1,000 lives.

After the discovery of mass graves in areas left behind by retreating Haftar militias, the UN and international jurists have expressed concern over possible war crimes.

While Turkey continues to support Libya’s internationally recognized government, Haftar has been supported by Russia, France, Egypt, and the UAE.

*Writing by Burak Dag

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