ANALYSIS-France-Turkey tensions mount after NATO naval incident


Serious incident at sea on June 10 still unresolved

Turkey seen as strategic ally between Asia, Europe

EU foreign ministers to discuss Turkey on July 13


By John Irish and Robin Emmott


PARIS/BRUSSELS, July 7 (Reuters) - For France, it was the final straw. For Turkey, it was a misunderstanding. For NATO, it could be a turning point.


France wants NATO allies to 'solemnly reaffirm their attachment' to the arms embargo on Libya following an incident with one of its warships and a Turkish vessel earlier in June [File: Haven Daley/AFP]


   

[프랑스-터키 긴장고조] 터키 기지 공습...왜?  


터키 장교 6명 사망 보도도


   프랑스에게 그것은 최후의 결정이었다. 터키로서는 오해였다. 북대서양조약기구(NATO)에게는 전환점이 될 수 있다.


이 사건은 지난 6월 10일 나토군 지휘하의 프랑스 프리깃함이 유엔의 금수조항을 위반해 리비아로 무기를 밀반입한 혐의를 받고 있는 탄자니아 국적 화물선을 검문하려 하면서 지중해 동부 지역에서 빠르게 전개됐다.




프랑스 군부는 정부를 대표해 프리깃함은 화물선을 호위하는 터키 해군 함정 3척으로부터 괴롭힘을 당했다고 밝혔다. 터키 선박이 레이더 조명을 비추자 선원들은 방탄조끼를 입고 경무기 뒤에 서 있었다.


터키는 이에 이의를 제기한다. 그것은 리비아로의 무기 밀매를 부인하며, 화물선인 서킨호가 인도주의적 원조를 싣고 있었다고 말한다.


이스마일 하쿠흐 무사 터키 주재 터키 대사는 7월 1일 터키 군함 3척이 NATO가 유엔 무기 금수 조치를 시행하는 것을 돕고 있다고 말했다.


나토는 조사를 명령했지만 내용은 기밀이며 나토는 결과에 대해 언급하지 않았다. 두 명의 유럽 외교관은 로이터통신에 프랑스가 7월 초 옌스 스톨텐베르크 나토 사무총장에게 서한을 보내 이 보고서가 "정확하게 사실관계를 규명하지 못했다"고 말했다고 전했다.


미 국방부는 이 사건에 대해 언급을 회피했다.

프랑스로서는 이번 사건이 많은 나토 동맹국들이 서방 동맹의 이익과 가치에 반하는 행동을 하는 타이이프 에르도안 대통령의 성향으로 보고 있는 점을 부각시키고 있다.


황기철 콘페이퍼 에디터

Ki Chul Hwang Conpaper editor curator


edited by kcontents


The incident unfolded quickly in the eastern Mediterranean on June 10, when a French frigate under NATO command tried to inspect a Tanzanian-flagged cargo ship suspected of smuggling arms to Libya in violation of a U.N. embargo.


via youtube



edited by kcontents


The French armed forces ministry, speaking on behalf of the government, said the frigate was harassed by three Turkish navy vessels escorting the cargo ship. A Turkish ship flashed its radar lights and its crew put on bulletproof vests and stood behind their light weapons, it said.


Turkey disputes this. It denies trafficking arms to Libya and says the cargo ship, the Cirkin, was carrying humanitarian aid. It has accused the French navy of aggression.


Turkey's ambassador to France, Ismail Hakkı Musa, said on July 1 the three Turkish warships were helping NATO enforce the U.N. arms embargo.


NATO ordered an investigation, but its contents are classified and NATO has not commented on its outcome. Two European diplomats told Reuters that France sent a letter to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in early July saying the report did not "correctly establish the facts."


The U.S. Pentagon declined to comment on the incident.


For France, the incident highlights what many NATO allies see as President Tayyip Erdogan's tendency to act against the Western alliance's interests and values.


FRACTURES

After a series of disagreements, from Turkey's purchase of weapons from Russia to gas drilling operations near Cyprus, France concluded that suspicions of Turkish arms smuggling to Libya were too serious to ignore, four NATO diplomats and officials told Reuters.




France has suspended its participation in NATO's Mediterranean mission, Sea Guardian, instead offering its assets to a European Union mission that is upholding the U.N. arms embargo but does not involve Turkish ships, diplomats said.


"What do you do when you have a NATO surveillance mission ... and one of those in the alliance is the one doing the trafficking, while saying it is implementing the (U.N.)embargo?" said an official from France's armed forces ministry, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.


via youtube

edited by kcontents


The United States, frustrated by Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 missiles and its military operations in Syria, has been seeking to calm the tensions in NATO, the diplomats said.


Last October, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Turkey was "going in the wrong direction". While U.S. President Donald Trump enjoys a close relationship with Erdogan, he urged Turkey in May to help de-escalate the Libyan conflict.


The Pentagon "strives to preserve our relationship with Turkey while encouraging the Turkish government to pursue more constructive policies regarding the S-400 and other areas of disagreement," said U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Campbell, a Pentagon spokesman.




FRENCH DEMANDS

French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly told the European Parliament on July 2 that NATO must make Ankara realise it cannot "violate" NATO rules. But French diplomats also say Paris is not looking to expel Turkey, and NATO has no formal mechanism to punish or expel members.


Still, NATO could threaten to remove assets from Turkey, such as a radar, Patriot missiles or NATO AWACS aircraft.


French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian wants EU foreign ministers to consider new sanctions on Ankara during a video meeting on July 13.


"The main problem for Europe is Russia. The ambivalence of Turkey, with one foot in each camp, is the troubling factor," said Marc Pierini, a former EU ambassador to Turkey with the Carnegie Europe think tank.


Turkey has the second-largest military in NATO and gives the alliance a strategic presence, notably on the Black and Mediterranean seas.


"Imagine NATO without Turkey! You would have no NATO," ambassador Musa said.


France made four concrete demands of NATO in its July letter to Stoltenberg, the contents of which were laid out to Reuters.


It wants all 30 allies to reaffirm commitment to respecting the U.N. arms embargo on Libya, to ensure NATO signals are not used during national missions, to improve coordination between the NATO and EU missions in the Mediterranean, and to avoid similar incidents in the future.




At the last NATO defence ministers' meeting in late June, via video link, eight countries including Germany, Italy and Spain backed seeking a more cooperative approach from Turkey.


French diplomats cite Turkey signing off on a NATO defence plan for the Baltics and Poland late last month, after holding it up for months, as a first sign of success.


Yet there is a risk of a long-term rift at NATO if Erdogan does not change course, analysts say.


"Turkey considers itself big enough now to be independent from all sides," Pierini said. (Additional reporting by Idrees Ali in Washington, Editing by Frances Kerry and Timothy Heritage)


France suspends role in NATO naval mission over tensions with Turkey 


 KCONTENTS

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