World Bulletin / News Desk
France occupies a different place to other European countries in terms of democracy and freedoms, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.
Speaking at a meeting of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in Antalya, Cavusoglu said he had held a phone conversation earlier with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.
Describing Ayrault as "my friend" Cavusoglu said he was "different from others".
Earlier this week Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also thanked France for not "getting involved in such games" as he criticized the West for anti-Turkey rhetoric.
Their remarks follow last week's blockade on Turkish ministers who were barred from holding public rallies both in Germany and the Netherlands ahead of an April 16 referendum in Turkey on constitutional reforms.
On Saturday, the Dutch government first canceled permission for Cavusoglu’s flight to land in the Netherlands and then blocked a convoy carrying Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam.
In Antalya, Cavusoglu said multiculturalism was a wealth but accused Europe of not tolerating difference:
"That is the sickness in Europe. ‘All the others who are different from me should go away’. Migrants, Muslims, Jews..."
"That is inhuman," Cavusoglu said, adding: "That takes Europe into disasters and conflicts."