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France sparks outrage in Turkey with plans to outlaw ‘Grey Wolves’ nationalist group

France sparks outrage in Turkey with plans to outlaw ‘Grey Wolves’ nationalist group
Turkish members of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have condemned the French government’s decision to ban a pan-Turkish nationalist group known as the ‘Grey Wolves.’

On Monday, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced during a National Assembly meeting about the country’s fight against Islamist militants that the cabinet will consider banning the Turkish right-wing group when it meets on Wednesday.

Huseyin Sozlu, a member of the MHP, posted on Twitter to strongly condemn the proposed ban, by sharing a photo of the French government “embracing the PKK terrorists in the Elysee Palace,” arguing that the apparent hypocrisy exposed “Europe’s ambivalent attitude."

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Sozlu was joined in his criticism by Turkish nationalist Adem Taskaya, who posted that, in response to the ban, soon France’s “government will fall,” urging President Emmanuel Macron to take “precautions with his mind.”

The ‘Grey Wolves,’ established by the Nationalist Movement Party’s founder Alparslan Turkes in the 1960s, has been involved in “particularly aggressive” incidents in France in recent weeks, according to Darmanin.

Last weekend, French media reported that the group’s name and pro-Turkish slogans had been inscribed on an Armenian memorial near Lyon.

Tensions have been growing between France and Turkey since Macron pledged a crackdown on radical Islam following the murder of a French teacher by a Chechen Islamist on October 16. Macron also defended the publication of cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammed as freedom of expression, drawing harsh rebukes from Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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The French government has since increased its efforts to tackle militants and extremists in the past month, including banning a group named after Sheikh Yassin, co-founder of the Hamas movement.

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