ISTANBUL - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Emmanuel Macron’s warning that NATO was dying reflects a “sick and shallow” understanding, telling the French president “you should check whether you are brain dead”. Erdogan was speaking days ahead of a summit of the military alliance, which Macron said was experiencing “brain death” because of American unpredictability under President Donald Trump and strained ties with Turkey. The Turkish and French presidents, who have traded criticism over Ankara’s cross-border offensive in northeast Syria, will be among NATO leaders meeting at a summit of the transatlantic alliance in Britain on Dec. 4. “I’m addressing Mr Macron from Turkey and I will say it at NATO: You should check whether you are brain dead first,” Erdogan said. Macron said in an interview three weeks ago there was a lack of strategic coordination between European allies on the one hand and the United States and Turkey, on the other. He has also decried NATO’s inability to react to what he called Turkey’s “crazy” offensive into northern Syria. Turkey is refusing to back a NATO defence plan for the Baltics and Poland unless it gets more political support for its fight against Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria.

Finnish minister resigns in postal strike fallout

HELSINKI - The minister in charge of Finland’s state postal service, Sirpa Paatero, quit on Friday over her poor handling of a labour dispute that mushroomed into multiple strikes, the prime minister said. Thousands of workers at Posti went on strike for more than two weeks, with solidarity action spreading to other sectors including aviation, over the weakening of 700 employees’ terms, until the dispute was resolved on Wednesday. Prime Minister Antti Rinne said local government minister Paatero, 55, had decided by herself to resign, but he was dissatisfied with her handling of the Posti saga. “Posti has acted against the state owner’s will,” he said, adding that the company’s management would be assessed later. “I do not approve any weakening of employment terms.” Rinne’s centre-left government, in power since June, has been more sympathetic to labour concerns than Finland’s previous centre-right government. Rinne himself is a former union leader. There was no immediate comment from Paatero.