Recently France withdrew from a NATO operation in the Mediterranean Sea, apparently in response to the unwillingness of other alliance members to address aggression on the part of Turkish warships against their official allies. This development speaks to a growing pattern of conflict between Turkey and other NATO members, though previously it had been mostly Greece that was the recipient of Turkey’s ire. France has accused Turkey of targeting one of its warships during the inspection of another vessel for smuggled weapons. Though the details are unclear, France alleged that Turkey both made aggressive moves toward its ship and fired its weapons three times. The clash with France is a signal that Turkey is prepared to continue harassing ships from supposedly friendly countries, thus sabotaging the goals of current and future naval missions in the Mediterranean. It also continues Ankara’s pattern of complicating security in the region. I have written more on this subject here.
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