Turkey expects France to apologise after an incident between Turkish and French warships in the Mediterranean, the country’s foreign minister said yesterday.
French Defence Ministry had accused Turkish frigates of carrying out an “extremely aggressive” intervention against a French navy vessel said to be taking part in a NATO mission in the Mediterranean and denounced Turkish manoeuvres as “very dangerous”.
Turkey denied the claims, with a senior military official saying they were “completely untrue”, the incident was alleged to have occurred a few weeks ago.
“France has not told the truth to the EU or to NATO,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a visit to Berlin.
“The claims that our vessels locked onto [French vessels] are not true,” Cavusoglu added. “We have proven this with reports and documents and gave them to NATO. NATO saw the truth.”
The tense relations between the two NATO members come after France criticised Turkey’s foreign policy in Libya and Syria over the past year. While Turkey supports the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli politically and militarily, France has indirectly been supporting its rival Libyan National Army (LNA) under renegade Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.