FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Recep Tayyip Erdogan Refusing To Shake Hands With Emmanuel Macron?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refusing to shake hands with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Verdict: False

Erdogan and Macron shook hands moments before the photo being shared was taken.

Fact Check:

Multiple Facebook users shared the photo with the claim it shows Erdogan refusing to shake hands with Macron amid recent tensions between Turkey and France. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show The Teacher Beheaded In France Holding A ‘Refugees Welcome’ Sign?)

Following the beheading of Paris school teacher Samuel Paty by a Chechen refugee, Macron said that Islam was “in crisis” and that he would fight “Islamist separatism” in France, Business Insider reported. Erdogan on Oct. 24 said, according to Politico, that the French president “needs mental treatment” for his views about Islam and on Oct. 26 advocated for Turks to boycott French products, according to BBC News.

The photo, taken by Ludovic Marin for AFP, shows Macron as he meets with Erdogan “at the UN headquarters during the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York City on September 25, 2018,” according to its caption. In the picture, Macron has his right hand extended, while Erdogan appears to face away from it.

Some Facebook users falsely claimed it depicted Erdogan refusing to shake Macron’s hand, despite other AFP photos showing the two leaders doing so during the same occasion. Turkey’s Directorate of Communications also tweeted the day after the meeting a photo of the pair shaking hands.

“President @RT_Erdogan met with President Macron of France, Prime Minister May of the United Kingdom, President Kitarovic of Croatia, President Pahor of Slovenia, President Nyusi of Mozambique and Prime Minister Tsipras of Greece in New York,” Turkey’s Directorate of Communications tweeted Sept. 26, 2018.

Macron and Erdogan also shook hands in January 2020 at the Berlin Conference on Libyan peace, as seen in an Andalu Agency photo available through AFP.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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