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All Dimensions of Turco-French Tensions

All Dimensions of Turco-French Tensions 2 July, 2020

Tensions increasing between France and Turkey. The Paris Ambassador of Turkey Ismail Hakki Musa's statement about the incident that TCG Oruçreis (F 245) and French frigate FS Courbet (F 712) involved with the images with C4Defence difference.

A few days ago France presented a letter to NATO claiming that Turkish frigate threatened French frigate by tracking with radar. Turkey, however, stated that French frigate, FS Courbet (F 712), approached to TCG Gökçeada (F 494), TCG Gökova (F 496) and TCG Oruçreis (F 245) with dangerous manoeuvres that risk cruise safety. Following the incident, France had put forward the claim that TCG Oruçreis had made radar illumination on FS Courbet. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg had ordered a detailed report that examines all the details of the incident. According to reports in the media, the report stated that Turkish ships did not have any movement in line with the claims of France. France has also announced that NATO has withdrawn from Operation Marine Guard in the Mediterranean.

 

Turkey's Ambassador to Paris İsmail Hakkı Musa met with the French Senate Committee on Defence and Armed Forces in charge of the Foreign Relations Committee on July 1, 2020 (yesterday). The meeting was published as video recordings on the internet. Ambassador Musa presented Turkey's views on the incident. In addition to a sketch with the directions and speeds of all the ships mentioned, photographs taken from the ships were included in the presentation.

 

During the meeting, Ambassador Musa drew attention to the fact that the fire control radar was not active and that there was no locking or illumination activity in the images given to NATO and displayed on the screen even though there was a positioning study. It was also stated that it was not a friendly behaviour for France to inform NATO without directly verifying any data, rather than communicating with Turkish ships. Underlining that the manoeuvres done by FS Courbet are not a cooperative movement, it was pointed out that what happened was not understood by the Turkish side. NATO experts, who examined the developments, also emphasized that the French ship could not establish the "necessary" diagnosis for its manoeuvres. Ambassador Musa pointed out in a photograph of TCG Oruçreis taken from FS Courbet that the weapons would not be in the position in case of an attempt to deter them, pointing out that the weapons were turned into the sky or were in a navigational position. Afterwards, while France's actions were meaningless and the two countries stopped finding solutions between them, it was not possible to understand why the issue was directly transferred to NATO. In the images shared in the presentation, it is seen that the accompanying TCG Gökçeada (F 494) frigate is 5.67 km ahead. It was also noted in the drawing that TCG Gökova (F 496), following the platform behind, continued its transfer at 2.74 km and that TCG Oruçreis was about 9.14 km away. FS Courbe, TCG Gökçeada started to approach the Turkish ship group with a speed of 7.3 knots per hour, at a speed of 15 knots per hour (27.8 km), wandering in front of the freight ship, wandering at a distance of 2.56 km on the road of TCG Oruçreis. It appears to have reached 20 nautical miles (37 km). The fact that FS Courbet approached 1.82 km to TCG Oruçreis and continued its course in the first place was also included in the drawing.

 

Instead of answering the question, French Commission President Christian Cambon expressed discomfort with the presence of two Turkish warships in the region. On the question of why two warships protected the freight ship, Ambassador Musa stated that the Italian Navy checked the freight on behalf of NATO seven hours before the incident, and four hours after that, a Greek frigate was inspected again. Musa added that the search for protection was done to Turkish ships after two consecutive calls were seen as an abnormality, and stated that the French ship was put up for a third check just before the development. "Could there be any doubt on the ship?" On the question, the Turkish side said, "If there is any doubt, the ship should not be allowed to leave in the first search." The French official said, "A platform protected by two warships draw attention. A vehicle carrying humanitarian aid does not need such protection." defended his thesis.

After this incident, France announced that NATO had withdrawn from the Operation Marine Guard in the Mediterranean. The French media are now talking about the country's withdrawal from such operations in NATO.

 

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All Dimensions of Turco-French Tensions

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