ISTANBUL/PARIS (Reuters) -- France recalled its ambassador on Saturday after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said his counterpart Emmanuel Macron needed mental help over his attitude towards Muslims.
"Outrage and insult are not a method,” Macron’s office said.
The French leader this month declared war on "Islamist separatism”, which he claims is taking over some Muslim communities in France.
"What is the problem of this person called Macron with Muslims and Islam? Macron needs treatment on a mental level,” Erdogan said in a speech in the central Turkish city of Kayseri.
"What else can be said to a head of state who does not understand freedom of belief and who behaves in this way to millions of people living in his country who are members of a different faith?” Erdogan added.
Turkey and France are both members of the NATO military alliance, but have been at odds over issues including Syria and Libya, maritime jurisdiction in the eastern Mediterranean, and the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
"France has gathered its European partners, who share France’s demand that Turkey puts a stop to its dangerous adventures in the Mediterranean and in the region,” the statement from Macron’s office said.
Erdogan has two months to respond or face measures, it added.
The Turkish president had also said on Oct. 6 that Macron’s comments on Islamist threats were "a clear provocation” and showed "impertinence”.
Macron’s controversial remarks, which sparked sharp criticism from Muslim leaders and activists from around the world, came after an 18-year-old assailant, identified as Chechen Abdullakh Anzorov, decapitated history French teacher Samuel Paty outside his school in a Paris suburb.
Paty had raised controversy and provoked anger over showing defamatory cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad to his students. The assailant was shot dead by police soon after the killing.
Paris has now passed a draft law to the senate, seeking to prohibit the justification of a crime due to ethnic or religious motives on constitutional grounds.
Erdogan said that "the main goal of such initiatives led by Macron is to settle old scores with Islam and Muslims.”
The draft law came a week after the French teacher was beheaded.