As Daily Sabah reported Monday, Turkey has arrested four people on suspicion of spying for France. Accordingly, the four, who are Turkish nationals, were collecting information on conservative and religious groups in Turkey. They also used fake identity cards to impersonate agents of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), the report said. The leader of the spy ring told the police that he was trained in France and later recruited three others to assist his espionage activities.
The news came right after the relations between Turkey and France, two NATO allies, were strained as they took different positions on the Libyan crisis. Most recently, an incident occured last week between Turkish and French naval warships in the Mediterranean.
To recap, France accused the Turkish navy of “harassing a French warship on a NATO mission.” The French defense ministry alleged that Turkish frigates were extremely aggressive” toward the French warship. When the French warship wanted to check a Turkish vessel in an attempt to see whether it was smuggling arms to Libya, the vessel did not cooperate and refused to say where it was going, according to French officials.
While France claims that the Turkish ship switched off its tracking system and masked its ID number, Turkey, denying the accusation, said that the French warship was at fault as it did not establish communication with the Turkish vessel.
This incident between Turkey and France was the latest flare-up, but the tension between the two countries is nothing new. Since France is actively supporting the YPG, the outlawed PKK’s offshoot in Syria, Turkish-French relations were already tense. After Turkey’s intervention in Libya following Ankara’s military deal with the U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), the rift between Turkey and France, which is supporting putschist Gen. Khalifa Haftar, a war criminal, became apparent in Libya as well.
In addition to France's groundless accusations over the incident in the Mediterranean, French President Emmanuel Macron went further and said Monday that France would not tolerate Turkey’s military intervention in Libya. While Paris has a big role in perpetuating Libya’s chaos by supporting a warlord, Macron ridiculously added that Ankara is playing a “dangerous game” in the war-torn country.
Ankara quickly slammed Macron’s absurd remarks in a written statement issued by the spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Hami Aksoy. The French president’s words “can only be explained as the eclipse of reason,” as Turkey’s support to the legitimate government of Libya is in line with the relevant U.N. resolutions, the statement said.
Actually, Turkey is not surprised by France’s fury as Ankara has changed the course of events on the ground in Libya through its support to the legitimate government. Haftar’s supporters, such as France, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Russia, are disappointed with their puppet’s losses in the last two months. Haftar has not only failed in his yearlong battle for Tripoli, he also lost critical positions he had gained since 2014. France, in particular, has been angered as the Turkish-backed GNA prepares to take Jufra and Sirte. Jufra and Sirte are highly important for France as it collects gold and uranium that it plunders from African countries such as Mali, Chad and Niger as well as Libyan oil at Jufra air base and transports them via the Sirte port to France. Stealing African wealth is not a new move for France as it has never abandoned its imperialist dreams for Africa. Libya is simply its latest station to continue its looting in the continent.
As is known, France is the leading country that turned Libya into a mess. You might remember that when NATO's intervention against dictator Moammar Gadhafi began to be planned, then-U.S. President Barack Obama was reluctant; however, France pressed to bombard the Maghrebian country and persuaded other NATO members. Paris said that it just wanted to bring freedom to Libya and cared about human rights, but actually, it was appetent for new opportunities to satisfy its greed. That is why France is supporting another dictator and mad man in Libya today instead of the legitimate government. France might argue that its objective is countering terrorism and restoring security in Libya, but it wants just another Egypt, another Abdel Fattah el-Sissi kind of ruler. Thus, it is not only overlooking Haftar’s brutal tactics and violations of democratic values and human rights but it is promoting them.
Furthermore, Paris has been sending clandestine military aid for several years to Libya – this has been verified in many reports – while it is ironically sitting at the table with the international community to forge a resolution. It is pretending as if it wants peace in Libya, but actually it is one of the countries which puts up barriers to peace. It shamelessly denies supporting Haftar’s side in Libya as it thinks that we forget that Macron hosted putschist Haftar in Paris with a smiling face this year during the warlord’s Tripoli offensive.
According to the U.N. Support Mission in Libya, mass graves were discovered in Tarhuna this month after the GNA rebuffed Haftar’s forces and liberated it. It would be unrealistic to think that France would change its mind, choose the right path in Libya and help restore stability after that revelation. Even more, we should not expect it to be embarrassed about supporting a war criminal even after the horrific mass graves have been uncovered as we know its dirty deeds in many African countries. However, France must know that it will not play its own game anymore in Libya because Turkey is there to stop the tragedy.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.