Amid boycott of French products, Turkish first lady's Rs 37 lakh 'fake' Birkin bag draws ire
Source: Twitter

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan's wife and first lady Emine was recently subjected to flak for sporting a Hermes Birkin bag despite her husband calling a ban on all French products.

This comes after a French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo rolled out its cover-page cartoon mocking Erdogan and accused it of sowing "the seeds of hatred and animosity."

For those unversed, Hermes is a high-end French luxury brand, which manufactures one-of-a-kind handbags for celebs and eminent personalities across the globe.

Emine was photographed carrying a crocodile leather Birkin that reportedly costs 50,000 USD (Rs 37,22,250 approximately).

Scores of netizens called her out for supporting a country which makes caricatures of Muslim leaders and prophets.

Following the backlash, Turkish journalist Hande Firat claimed that the first lady was carrying a knockoff and not the original.

In an article published by Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, Firat asserted that Emine purchase only dupes of luxury products.

Last month, a French teacher was beheaded for showing caricatures of Prophet Mohammad in class.

The teacher, who was killed by an 18-year-old Chechen refugee, has been heralded at home as a national symbol of France's dearly-held secular ideals and its rejection of any whiff of religious intrusion in public spheres.

The Prophet cartoons upset many in the Muslim world. But it was Erdogan who led the charge against France and questioned Macron's mental state. France then recalled its ambassador to Turkey for consultations, a first in French-Turkish diplomatic relations.

"We strongly condemn the publication concerning our president of the French magazine, which has no respect to faith, the sacred and values," Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, wrote on Twitter.

Kalin said: "The aim of these publications, that are devoid of morality and decency, is to sow seeds of hatred and animosity. To turn freedom of expression into hostility towards religion and belief can only be the product of a sick mentality."

Macron's stance sparked anti-France protests in Turkey and in other Muslim countries as well as calls for the boycott of French good.

Tensions between France and Turkey have mounted in recent months over Turkish actions in Syria, Libya and the Caucasus Mountains region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

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Free Press Journal