ISTANBUL - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has filed a criminal complaint against a French magazine after it accused him of conducting ethnic cleansing in northeast Syria, state-owned Anadolu Agency said on Friday. Erdogan sent troops into northeast Syria on Oct. 9 to attack Kurdish YPG forces, which he views as terrorists linked to Kurdish insurgents operating inside Turkey. Under a ceasefire plan now in force, the YPG is required to withdraw from an area within 30 km (19 miles) of the Turkish border. Ankara hopes to create a “safe zone” there where it can resettle Syrian refugees currently living in Turkey. Turkey’s Western allies condemned its offensive and have expressed concerns that repatriating the refugees will change the demographic composition of the border area, much of which has a Kurdish majority. The front page of this week’s edition of Le Point magazine features a picture of Erdogan making a military salute with the words: “Ethnic cleansing, the Erdogan method” and “Are we going to let him massacre the Kurds?” Erdogan has asked Ankara prosecutors to open a case against Etienne Gernelle, the managing editor of Le Point, and Romain Gubert, the author of the article, Anadolu reported. The complaint accuses them of insulting the president, a crime in Turkey. Other Western media have also accused Turkey of carrying out ethnic cleaning in the Syrian border region. Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, criticised the article in Le Point and what he sees as France’s anti-Turkey stance, saying on Thursday that France had colonised many countries in the past and slaughtered thousands of people.