Turkish frigates confronted French naval forces in the Mediterranean Sea as they tried to inspect a ship, purportedly carrying weapons to Libya in violation of the UN ban. The incident took place amid Ankara’s attempts to help the UN recognised government of national accord in its fight against the army of General Haftar.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has stated Ankara wants france to apologise over its statements regarding the incident that took place in the middle of June between the two countries’ naval forces. At the time, Paris characterised the Turkish frigates’ actions towards French ships operating in the Mediterranean Sea as “extremely aggressive” and requested NATO officials to probe the encounter between the members of the alliance.
Cavusoglu went on to dismiss France’s claims that Turkish frigates targeted their ally’s ship insisting that Ankara passed the reports of the incident to NATO investigators, proving such conduct never took place.
Turkey actively supports the UN-recognised Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), which controls the capital of Tripoli and the northwestern part of the country. The GNA, in turn, accuses france of supporting another major power on the Libyan political landscape – the Tobruk-based Libyan House of Representatives and the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by general Khalifa Haftar, which controls central and eastern Libya.