Segments of letters exchanged between Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and France’s President Emmanuel Macron have been leaked to the press.
The leak reveals that the two presidents greeted each other as “Dear Macron” and “Dear Emmanuel”. When President Macron caught coronavirus on 17 December, a week after the December European Council summit agreed to impose new sanctions on Turkey, President Erdoğan sent a letter to him, addressing him as “Dear Emmanuel”. It wished him well and invited him to renew their conversations, according to Politico.
Politico stated that the letter said: “I would like to discuss again with you our common fight against the Covid-19 epidemic … Our bilateral relations and the relations between Turkey and the EU, as well as regional issues, as soon as you feel better”.
L’Opinion further noted that President Macron greeted President Erdoğan with the Turkish salutation “Değerli Tayyip” (“Dear Tayyip”). Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated last week that President Macron had replied to President Erdoğan in January with his own letter. “President Macron expresses the importance of Turkey for Europe and his will to develop positive ties with Turkey and to meet our president in the coming period”, Cavuşoğlu had noted.
Diplomatic tensions between Ankara and Paris had risen after tensions between Presidents Erdoğan and Macron had been reported. In October 2020, following the French President’s statements that Islam was a religion “in crisis” globally, President Erdoğan had responded by stating that President Macron needed a “mental health checkup”. He had also accused Macron of “Islamaphobia”.