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'France used to run the show in North Africa. No more' - Turkish official

Faheka.afk

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France-Turkey feud: 'French anger is all about losing influence'
Ragip Soylu in
Ankara
Published date: 10 July 2020 10:50 UTC | Last update: 2 hours 37 mins ago
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A few years ago, observers would tout Turkish-French cooperation as exemplary. Now, senior French officials release statements every other day condemning Turkey's actions in the Mediterranean and Libya.

What happened?

“Turkey happened,” says a senior Turkish official, speaking anonymously. “They don’t like the fact that Turkey is taking control.”

Ask a Turkish official a question about France's outbursts, and you will invariably elicit laughter. They portray French anger over Ankara’s moves in the Mediterranean and Libya as something comparable to a child who lost its toy - or in this case, its influence.

Though little discussed now, France's vocal discontent began not over Libya but Syria, when last year Ankara launched an offensive against the the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed militia spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG, which is seen as a terror group by Turkey.

'France has become Russia’s facilitator, and it is also a threat against Nato. This could shatter the alliance in the future'

- Turkish official

Paris, the former colonial power in Syria, strongly protested the move alongside other western allies, as French President Emmanuel Macron and his predecessor previously hosted the SDF leadership and lauded them as heroes in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group.

Eventually, Turkey struck deals with both the US and Russia, mostly halting the short-lived offensive. “Yet, France was left out of the process,” the Turkish official says. “And that was the beginning of their frustration.”

Charles Thepaut, a French diplomat who is a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute think tank, confirmed in a Twitter thread that Paris has been agitated by the Turkish moves in Syria.

“Paris thinks quiet diplomacy didn’t work 2017-2020," he wrote, adding that Ankara rejected French attempts to convince it to change course over its conflict with the YPG, purchase of Russia's S-400 missiles and plans to drill off Cyprus.

France is also angry, he said, at Ankara's insistence on blocking a Nato Baltic defence plan unless the alliance also designates the YPG as a terrorist group.

“[Turkey] took military action, unilateral steps and built up its tandem with [Russia],” Thepaut wrote.

Existential threat
Turkish officials, however, are aghast at this stance. They say when it comes to the YPG, France has no say in Turkey's national security concerns, which are perceived as “existential” by its public.

They also accuse France of using Nato to settle its own scores with Turkey.

“The discussions on defence plans are totally classified, meaning: it is secret,” the official said. “So they leak secret exchanges to media and talk like they have the moral high ground.”

He added that Turkey last month withdrew its opposition to the Baltic defence plan after reaching a political compromise, which the official said won’t be revealed.

As for Turkey's relationship with Russia, which has grown closer in recent years, Turkish officials say France has been the one permitting and even encouraging Russian involvement in Libya through their mutual support of eastern commander Khalifa Haftar.

“France enabled Russia’s entrance to the Mediterranean. This is really concerning. France has become Russia’s facilitator, and it is also a threat against Nato. This could shatter the alliance in the future,” a second Turkish official told MEE.

In terms of Libya, French officials maintain that Turkey had been violating an arms embargo to support the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli.

Paris has repeatedly accused Turkey of playing a dangerous game with its intervention in the country, which earlier this year alleviated Tripoli from a 14-month assault and put Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) on the back foot.

France can't say it has no military involvement in the conflict itself, however.

The French defence ministry last year admitted that four of its anti-tank missiles were found in a base used by Haftar's forces. And the UAE, which alongside Egypt militarily backs Haftar, is currently using French-made jets to bombard GNA-held territory.

Meanwhile, Macron is silent on the presence of Russian mercenaries in the country, and Moscow's increasing support for the LNA.

“I don't think France is actually violating the arms embargo, but French allies [the UAE and Egypt] do it, with the political support of France,” Jean-Dominique Merchet, a French journalist specialising on defence affairs, tells MEE.

For Turkish officials, the matter is simpler. “They used to run the show in North Africa,” said a third official. “No more.”

Officials note that Paris was once one of the main mediators in the region, inviting warring parties in Libya to talks and excluding pretty much everyone else.

“Now they feel that they are excluded. And they don’t like it.” the official said.

Domestic concerns
Turkish officials don’t believe that the issue is all about Macron. “It is the French government's reaction as a whole. He isn’t only speaking his mind,” the third official said.

But Macron has nonetheless taken ownership of French views and policy that are critical of Turkey, and they go far beyond foreign policy.

In January, in an address to the Armenian community, Macron spoke about “Turkish interference” in French society, and promised that he would “put an end to all educational practices that do not respect the rules, laws and curricula of the school of the republic".

“For the French government, the problem with Turkey is larger than Libya,” Merchet says. He says the links between Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Muslim Brotherhood are something troubling for Paris, as they are arch-foes of French allies the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

'France used to run the show in North Africa. No more'

- Turkish official

“And even France's poor suburbs [are a problem]. The French president now describes Islamists there as 'separatists',” he said.

Turkey's links to its diaspora in France and across Europe are strong. But its practice of sending Turkish teachers and imams to educate French children of Turkish origin particularly bothers French authorities.

Meanwhile the French interior ministry in January rejected a Turkish resident’s application for citizenship because of their “pro-Erdogan” views, local media reported.

Observers in Turkey have noted that Macron's increasingly hostile speech on Ankara and the Turkish community comes as he courts the French right-wing.

His centrist Republic on the Move party failed to score any major victories in local polls last month, and in a cabinet reshuffle this week the president appointed ministers from the right-wing parties to position himself better for the upcoming presidential election.

Despite the tensions between the two allies, Turkish officials say they still think their disagreements can be worked out, if Paris looks at the issue with a realistic approach.

"They should stop backing the Libyan warlord and try to protect their interests in a more sensible way. We are an enduring ally," the third official said.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/france-turkey-fued-syria-libya-behind-scenes
 
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Faheka.afk

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Ask a Turkish official a question about France's outbursts, and you will invariably elicit laughter. They portray French anger over Ankara’s moves in the Mediterranean and Libya as something comparable to a child who lost its toy - or in this case, its influence.
:taz::taz:
 

Bismarck

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A possible solution. Take out Russians and KSA/UAE and Egypt and find a common solution with your European NATO partners.
 

AgNoStiC MuSliM

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"Khalifa Haftar, a warlord who is attempting to overthrow Libya’s internationally recognized government, is short on friends in the United States. Haftar has cozied up to Russia and other autocratic regimes. He and his forces have been accused of a slew of war crimes, including indiscriminately bombing civilians and torturing opponents. And he is losing, pushed into retreat by a ragtag group of militias with Turkish support.

But Haftar, who has generally denied the war crimes allegations, does enjoy support from an unexpected place. In New Hampshire, Don Bolduc, a retired brigadier general, is running for Senate on a platform that includes calling for the United States to aggressively back Haftar’s bid to seize power in Libya." ...

... "Haftar is a former officer in Moammar Qaddafi’s military who spent 20 years in the United States, during which time he established a relationship with the CIA. He returned to Libya in 2011 after Qaddafi’s overthrow. By 2016, Haftar had acquired control of most of the eastern part of country and boasted some success against militias claiming allegiance to terror groups. Bolduc commanded a small special forces team that worked with Haftar to gather counterterrorism intelligence and plan attacks on militants. But Bolduc says the Obama administration ordered him to stop working with Haftar’s militia in mid-2016."

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/07/don-bolduc-libya-haftar-senate-new-hampshire/

The hypocrisy of Western powers:

Prop up murderous dictators like Saddam and Gaddaffi ...

Invade and overthrow murderous dictators like Saddam and Gadaffi ..

Lecture and sanction the rest of the world for 'lacking democracy and human rights'.

A possible solution. Take out Russians and KSA/UAE and Egypt and find a common solution with your European NATO partners.
If you read the article, it states that France has opposed Turkish demands to designate the YPG a terrorist group and has common cause with the autocratic GCC regimes in opposing Turkish influence that they fear might be a threat to the GCC dictators by enabling the rise of populist, elected governments.

I don't see how you untangle this knot without condemning France and forcing them to back down - France and the UAE are on the wrong side in supporting a warlord that cut his teeth with Gaddafi - a warlord fighting against a UN recognized government.
 

Ceylal

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France-Turkey feud: 'French anger is all about losing influence'
Ragip Soylu in
Ankara
Published date: 10 July 2020 10:50 UTC | Last update: 2 hours 37 mins ago
929Shares






A few years ago, observers would tout Turkish-French cooperation as exemplary. Now, senior French officials release statements every other day condemning Turkey's actions in the Mediterranean and Libya.

What happened?

“Turkey happened,” says a senior Turkish official, speaking anonymously. “They don’t like the fact that Turkey is taking control.”

Ask a Turkish official a question about France's outbursts, and you will invariably elicit laughter. They portray French anger over Ankara’s moves in the Mediterranean and Libya as something comparable to a child who lost its toy - or in this case, its influence.

Though little discussed now, France's vocal discontent began not over Libya but Syria, when last year Ankara launched an offensive against the the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed militia spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG, which is seen as a terror group by Turkey.

'France has become Russia’s facilitator, and it is also a threat against Nato. This could shatter the alliance in the future'

- Turkish official

Paris, the former colonial power in Syria, strongly protested the move alongside other western allies, as French President Emmanuel Macron and his predecessor previously hosted the SDF leadership and lauded them as heroes in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group.

Eventually, Turkey struck deals with both the US and Russia, mostly halting the short-lived offensive. “Yet, France was left out of the process,” the Turkish official says. “And that was the beginning of their frustration.”

Charles Thepaut, a French diplomat who is a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute think tank, confirmed in a Twitter thread that Paris has been agitated by the Turkish moves in Syria.

“Paris thinks quiet diplomacy didn’t work 2017-2020," he wrote, adding that Ankara rejected French attempts to convince it to change course over its conflict with the YPG, purchase of Russia's S-400 missiles and plans to drill off Cyprus.

France is also angry, he said, at Ankara's insistence on blocking a Nato Baltic defence plan unless the alliance also designates the YPG as a terrorist group.

“[Turkey] took military action, unilateral steps and built up its tandem with [Russia],” Thepaut wrote.

Existential threat
Turkish officials, however, are aghast at this stance. They say when it comes to the YPG, France has no say in Turkey's national security concerns, which are perceived as “existential” by its public.

They also accuse France of using Nato to settle its own scores with Turkey.

“The discussions on defence plans are totally classified, meaning: it is secret,” the official said. “So they leak secret exchanges to media and talk like they have the moral high ground.”

He added that Turkey last month withdrew its opposition to the Baltic defence plan after reaching a political compromise, which the official said won’t be revealed.

As for Turkey's relationship with Russia, which has grown closer in recent years, Turkish officials say France has been the one permitting and even encouraging Russian involvement in Libya through their mutual support of eastern commander Khalifa Haftar.

“France enabled Russia’s entrance to the Mediterranean. This is really concerning. France has become Russia’s facilitator, and it is also a threat against Nato. This could shatter the alliance in the future,” a second Turkish official told MEE.

In terms of Libya, French officials maintain that Turkey had been violating an arms embargo to support the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli.

Paris has repeatedly accused Turkey of playing a dangerous game with its intervention in the country, which earlier this year alleviated Tripoli from a 14-month assault and put Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) on the back foot.

France can't say it has no military involvement in the conflict itself, however.

The French defence ministry last year admitted that four of its anti-tank missiles were found in a base used by Haftar's forces. And the UAE, which alongside Egypt militarily backs Haftar, is currently using French-made jets to bombard GNA-held territory.

Meanwhile, Macron is silent on the presence of Russian mercenaries in the country, and Moscow's increasing support for the LNA.

“I don't think France is actually violating the arms embargo, but French allies [the UAE and Egypt] do it, with the political support of France,” Jean-Dominique Merchet, a French journalist specialising on defence affairs, tells MEE.

For Turkish officials, the matter is simpler. “They used to run the show in North Africa,” said a third official. “No more.”

Officials note that Paris was once one of the main mediators in the region, inviting warring parties in Libya to talks and excluding pretty much everyone else.

“Now they feel that they are excluded. And they don’t like it.” the official said.

Domestic concerns
Turkish officials don’t believe that the issue is all about Macron. “It is the French government's reaction as a whole. He isn’t only speaking his mind,” the third official said.

But Macron has nonetheless taken ownership of French views and policy that are critical of Turkey, and they go far beyond foreign policy.

In January, in an address to the Armenian community, Macron spoke about “Turkish interference” in French society, and promised that he would “put an end to all educational practices that do not respect the rules, laws and curricula of the school of the republic".

“For the French government, the problem with Turkey is larger than Libya,” Merchet says. He says the links between Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Muslim Brotherhood are something troubling for Paris, as they are arch-foes of French allies the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

'France used to run the show in North Africa. No more'

- Turkish official

“And even France's poor suburbs [are a problem]. The French president now describes Islamists there as 'separatists',” he said.

Turkey's links to its diaspora in France and across Europe are strong. But its practice of sending Turkish teachers and imams to educate French children of Turkish origin particularly bothers French authorities.

Meanwhile the French interior ministry in January rejected a Turkish resident’s application for citizenship because of their “pro-Erdogan” views, local media reported.

Observers in Turkey have noted that Macron's increasingly hostile speech on Ankara and the Turkish community comes as he courts the French right-wing.

His centrist Republic on the Move party failed to score any major victories in local polls last month, and in a cabinet reshuffle this week the president appointed ministers from the right-wing parties to position himself better for the upcoming presidential election.

Despite the tensions between the two allies, Turkish officials say they still think their disagreements can be worked out, if Paris looks at the issue with a realistic approach.

"They should stop backing the Libyan warlord and try to protect their interests in a more sensible way. We are an enduring ally," the third official said.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/france-turkey-fued-syria-libya-behind-scenes
Do you really think that Turkey can stop France, another Nato member? Turkey is in Lybia because the United state is absent..Israel is absent...Turkey is just filling the void until one of these, nammed above, arrives...Turkey was always a malleable servant of the West since the end of WWII.
 

Bismarck

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"Khalifa Haftar, a warlord who is attempting to overthrow Libya’s internationally recognized government, is short on friends in the United States. Haftar has cozied up to Russia and other autocratic regimes. He and his forces have been accused of a slew of war crimes, including indiscriminately bombing civilians and torturing opponents. And he is losing, pushed into retreat by a ragtag group of militias with Turkish support.

But Haftar, who has generally denied the war crimes allegations, does enjoy support from an unexpected place. In New Hampshire, Don Bolduc, a retired brigadier general, is running for Senate on a platform that includes calling for the United States to aggressively back Haftar’s bid to seize power in Libya." ...

... "Haftar is a former officer in Moammar Qaddafi’s military who spent 20 years in the United States, during which time he established a relationship with the CIA. He returned to Libya in 2011 after Qaddafi’s overthrow. By 2016, Haftar had acquired control of most of the eastern part of country and boasted some success against militias claiming allegiance to terror groups. Bolduc commanded a small special forces team that worked with Haftar to gather counterterrorism intelligence and plan attacks on militants. But Bolduc says the Obama administration ordered him to stop working with Haftar’s militia in mid-2016."

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/07/don-bolduc-libya-haftar-senate-new-hampshire/

The hypocrisy of Western powers:

Prop up murderous dictators like Saddam and Gaddaffi ...

Invade and overthrow murderous dictators like Saddam and Gadaffi ..

Lecture and sanction the rest of the world for 'lacking democracy and human rights'.


If you read the article, it states that France has opposed Turkish demands to designate the YPG a terrorist group and has common cause with the autocratic GCC regimes in opposing Turkish influence that they fear might be a threat to the GCC dictators by enabling the rise of populist, elected governments.

I don't see how you untangle this knot without condemning France and forcing them to back down - France and the UAE are on the wrong side in supporting a warlord that cut his teeth with Gaddafi - a warlord fighting against a UN recognized government.
Make France a better offer, which they can not decline.

I support Turkey if they are truly fighting this Western colonialism cancer. Actually any sane person should support if that is the case.
Supporting by doing what?
 

Bismarck

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Do you really think that Turkey can stop France, another Nato member? Turkey is in Lybia because the United state is absent..Israel is absent...Turkey is just filling the void until one of these, nammed above, arrives...Turkey was always a malleable servant of the West since the end of WWII.
What is Algerias position?

Reconstruction. Arms sale. Oil drilling. New trade deal...
 

Pan-Islamic-Pakistan

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Do you really think that Turkey can stop France, another Nato member? Turkey is in Lybia because the United state is absent..Israel is absent...Turkey is just filling the void until one of these, nammed above, arrives...Turkey was always a malleable servant of the West since the end of WWII.
Surprising views from you brother. I have heard much different views from other Algerians.

North Africans in general happen to be extremely pro-Turkish, similar to Pakistanis and Afghans. This is due in part to similar religious views and a common history.

Turkification seems like the natural course for North Africa Maghreb. You can see it in history, down to the flags and nostalgia of the people.

It was only a matter of time. Also Somalia, Saharan, and West African nations have tremendous love for Turkey too.

I am happy to see a Muslim power in the region again after centuries.
 

Oublious

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Surprising views from you brother. I have heard much different views from other Algerians.

North Africans in general happen to be extremely pro-Turkish, similar to Pakistanis and Afghans. This is due in part to similar religious views and a common history.

Turkification seems like the natural course for North Africa Maghreb. You can see it in history, down to the flags and nostalgia of the people.

It was only a matter of time. Also Somalia, Saharan, and West African nations have tremendous love for Turkey too.

I am happy to see a Muslim power in the region again after centuries.

Thats a colonial product almost coming to 'best before ends' max durability.
 

Kamil_baku

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Do you really think that Turkey can stop France, another Nato member? Turkey is in Lybia because the United state is absent..Israel is absent...Turkey is just filling the void until one of these, nammed above, arrives...Turkey was always a malleable servant of the West since the end of WWII.
or they didnt join because Turkey is part of it now and they understand how seriously Turkey need the government against those maritime rules. France think that Turkey will fight with them only in Libya. no, they will make headache for France in Mali and anywhere else... even influence their domestic politics to vhange it. thats the difference
 

Ceylal

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or they didnt join because Turkey is part of it now and they understand how seriously Turkey need the government against those maritime rules. France think that Turkey will fight with them only in Libya. no, they will make headache for France in Mali and anywhere else... even influence their domestic politics to vhange it. thats the difference
Sorry, but I can't see it...Yes, in the Eastern Med, due to the gas that Turkey is entitled to and has to defend its interest, but in Lybia or Mali as you said, Turkey will not hinder the French . Turkey is a NATO country, France is also a NATO country and wolf have never ever attacked each other...They always work in a pack...

Surprising views from you brother. I have heard much different views from other Algerians.

North Africans in general happen to be extremely pro-Turkish, similar to Pakistanis and Afghans. This is due in part to similar religious views and a common history.

Turkification seems like the natural course for North Africa Maghreb. You can see it in history, down to the flags and nostalgia of the people.

It was only a matter of time. Also Somalia, Saharan, and West African nations have tremendous love for Turkey too.

I am happy to see a Muslim power in the region again after centuries.
This isn't a stand against or for Turkey..This is a reality based on facts that Turkey , as a NATO member, has never and will never attack another Nato member..Turkey in the past decade was the French best friend, she even voted against Algerian independance..while Israel another Turkish middle east best friend voted for..maybe in 1962 they weren't friend..
To reply to something you just mentioned, Algerian like Turkish people, since we share a history and a culture..They do not care much about Ergodan and his government..Turkey and Algeria have a very strong commercial ties....

What is Algerias position?
...
Algeria doesn't see well the Turkish or the Egyptian and their coalition meddling in Lybia...Now, Turkish hasn't brought in any troops but mercenaries (that are fair games to dispose of, with troops, it gets a little complicated) has Algeria relectutly on her side and Algeria is siding with Turkey against the Egyptian coalition..how long that will last nobody nows...
But the Algerian interview given to fr 24, it clearly shows that Lybian file was overtaken by the Algerian military, and does not bode well for either Turkey or Egypt...Two days ago the Algerian Foreign minister told the Berlin Lybian panel, that Algeria will no longer tolerate what its being done in Lybia and to Lybia by foreign forces... Algerian security services have been involved in Lybia since the fall of the Kaddaffy regime, and a lot more since the attack on the Tiguentourine gas plant..
 

Clutch

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A possible solution. Take out Russians and KSA/UAE and Egypt and find a common solution with your European NATO partners.
The despot Arab states of UAE/Saudi/and Egypt are the problem in North Africa!... They will turn North Africa into another Yemen and create waves of refugees into Europe.

The despot tyrannical UAE/Saudis/Egypt are nothing but Israel's little attack dogs!;
 

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