Turkey and France: war of words

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called the confrontation between a French frigate and a Turkish war-ship off the Libyan coast in a "very serious incident"

Turkey and France: war of words

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called the confrontation between a French frigate and a Turkish war-ship off the Libyan coast in a "very serious incident". President and Emmanuel Macron, said that the action of Turkey was "unacceptable". You need a "clarification of the Turkish policy in Libya, because it is a threat to Africa and a threat for Europe".

What had happened?

10. June had approached the French frigate "Courbet" in the Mediterranean a convoy of ships from three Turkish war, and under the Tanzanian-flagged civilian ship inventory. The "Courbet" was in the context of the NATO operation Sea Guardian on the go, which is designed to prevent, among other things, the smuggling of weapons under. The Turks had directed their fire control radar on the French frigate, a fire control radar marked normally a planned attack. The French presentation.

Since then, the war of words and the NATO will be drawn into the conflict raging between Paris and Ankara. At a Meeting of NATO defense Ministers in June, the French head of Ministry Florence Parly had requested urgent clarification. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said it will investigate "the incident and the light in the darkness". On Tuesday, France suspended its participation in the Libya Mission temporarily.

Meanwhile, NATO confirmed that there had been an investigation and the result will soon be discussed in the military Committee. However, under the secrecy of it. The Operation Sea Guardian will meet more of your tasks. On the Mission to Turkey, Spain, Greece, Italy, Germany, Spain, and - until his withdrawal of France involved had previously been.

The NATO between the fronts of two members of

France has accused Turkey of double game: Ankara to participate systematically in the Transport of weapons to Libya, although the Turkish government have agreed to monitor in the context of NATO, the arms embargo and to find a negotiated solution. The newspaper "Le Figaro" quoted a spokesman for the French defense Ministry with the words, this was an "operation against the smuggling of weapons, you have weapons smugglers through". The Ministry declares, moreover, that the breaking of the embargo by Turkey was not an isolated case. There are a number of similar violations, where the Turkish ships had covered on the Libyan coast, their names.

Background of the conflict, which Turkey supports, with the approval of the United States, the Libyan head of government Fajis al-Sarradsch military. Since then, it has improved its Position. France has, however, is on the side of the militias of General Khalifa Haftar, which, in turn, Russia with mercenaries and weapons to help you through it.

Turkish foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu took advantage of his visit in Berlin on Thursday, to a broadside against Paris fire: "France has said the EU and NATO the truth." The have shown of his country, with Reports and documents for the NATO military Committee. To be "held in anti-Turkish activities, should France prefer to make a confession. We expect that France apologizes, because it has disseminated incorrect information."

Random event or provocation?

"It looks more like an unintended event, or it could have been exaggerated by the French self-indulgent," says Tarek Megerisi by the European Council on Foreign Relations. Behind it, he suspected the hostility of the French President, against the Turkish government. With his personal dislike Macron hazardous to a good strategy and Unity within NATO. "This is immature Behaviour" so Megerisi.

on the Other hand, transporting the Turkey, large quantities of weapons to Libya. Ankara enjoys the support of Washington. The United States do not want to be drawn into the fighting in Libya right into it, and be satisfied if the Turkish government attempts to place the conflict in favour of the government chief Sarradsch finish.

the aim of the USA is that Russia as supporters of General Haftar get the Chance to build in Libya, air defense positions, which is only a few hundred kilometers to be far from the American bases in Sicily.

France is seen in the Haftar new strong man in Libya, so the government wanted to establish good contacts to him and French companies in the Oil business to participate. However, Paris had in this geostrategic Poker is probably on the wrong man, explains Megerisi.

And France is apparently involved itself in, even in the smuggling of weapons to Libya: On bases, the General Haftar had left, and found the air defense missiles of American production. The serial numbers showed that they came from French-owned, as the "New York Times" reported in 2019.

A proxy war in a divided country

observers believe it is unlikely that the two main actors of Turkey and Russia military action table against each other. The Russian commitment was half-hearted. "In Libya, all sides to a ditch now. The Greek foreign Minister has mastered during his visit to the East of the country (the General Haftar), the Region as another state is treated," says Tarek Megerisi. Many point to the impending division of the country.

Marc Pierini of the think tank Carnegie Europe is once again calling on the EU to intervene, because Libya was mainly a European "emergency". Many of the jihadist fighters there could be a new terrorist threat. In addition, endangered air and naval bases in Turkey and Russia in Libya, the security of Western Europe and the power structure in NATO. Pierini called on the Chancellor, the crisis is now accept. But you would have to agree first with the President of Macron on a common course.

author: Barbara Wesel

*The contribution of "Turkey and France: war of the words" published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 02 July 2020, 17:27

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