French professor calls to “assassinate” Erdogan
Philippe Moreau Defarges says killing Turkey’s president in the context of a civil war would be a legitimate way to remove him from power.
A French political scientist has caused outrage in Turkey after calling for the assassination of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on live television.
Professor Philippe Moreau Defarges, a researcher at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), suggested the method after Erdogan-backed constitutional reforms were approved by the the Turkish public in a referendum last week.
The referendum paved the way for Turkey to transform its parliamentary system to a presidential system, having gained 51.4 percent of the votes.
Speaking on French broadcaster BFM, Defarges also insisted that the assassination of Erdogan in the context of a civil war would be a legitimate move.
Following his comments, many Turkish citizens living in France tweeted that they were going to launch complaints to the relevant authorities.
Defarges was criticised by Feiza Ben Mohamed, the ex-spokesman of the Federation of Muslims of the South of France, who tweeted that the former French diplomat’s call was “an incitement to a terrorist attack, no more and no less.”
C’est une incitation à un attentat terroriste, ni plus ni moins #AssassinatErdogan
— Feïza Ben Mohamed (@FeizaK) April 22, 2017
International law professor Masut Hakki Casin told TRT that Defarges’ comments were “a crime” against both UN and EU legal agreements.
He also called on the French authorities to launch an investigation, pointing out that Germany also started legal proceedings for a similar incident last year when a German satirist insulted the Turkish president on a state broadcaster.
“If the French state does not act on this professor, in the future whenever there are attacks targeting President Erdogan, the French state will be held accountable under international law,” Casin said.
Casin asked if Defarges would use the same language if French far-right politician Marine Le Pen won the French presidential elections, or if the same solution would be proposed to prevent the Brexit.
“Calling for the assassination of a president who was democratically elected is very dangerous,” he added.