A photo has been shared repeatedly in multiple posts on Facebook and Twitter in November 2020 that claim it shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refusing to shake hands with French President Emmanuel Macron. The posts circulated online as tensions between the two countries soared in a row over the freedom to mock religion. The claim is misleading; the photo shows the two leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York in 2018, two years before the current diplomatic standoff; other photos taken at the same event show the two leaders shaking hands.
The photo was published here on Facebook on November 5, 2020.
Its caption reads: “Turkey president Rajab Tayub Erdogan refused to hand shake with France president Macron.”
The posts circulated online after Erdogan backed calls in the Islamic world to boycott French goods following Macron’s defence of freedom of expression, including to mock religion. Here is an AFP report on the developments.
The claim is misleading.
A reverse image search on Google found the original photo published here on AFP’s website dated September 26, 2018.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading post (L) and the AFP photo (R):
Image comparing screenshot
Further keyword searches found several other photos of the two leaders at the same event, shaking hands:Screenshot of AFP photo
Below is a screenshot of a series of AFP photos that show Erdogan and Macron:
Turkey’s Directorate of Communications Twitter account also published a photo of the same handshake here on September 26, 2018.