At the beginning of 2018, the Turkish authorities signed a letter of agreement with the Eurosam consortium bringing together France and Italy around the Aster program, in order to study the implementation of an advanced anti-ballistic missile system. derived from the SAMP-T system (Ground Air Medium Range - Land) in service in the armies of the two countries. As Ankara began to collect its batteries of S-400 systems in the summer of 2019, this contract appeared as an alternative allowing NATO to keep a foothold in anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense over Turkey. .
But since then, relations have deteriorated greatly between Paris and Ankara, notably following theTurkish intervention in northern Syria to dislodge the Kurdish allies of the YPG alongside which the French forces engaged against Daesh in Syria have fought since 2015. In addition, on several occasions, the Turkish authorities threatened these same French forces, in particular by revealing their positions. The situation obviously did not improve when President Macron took up the cause of the alliance between Greece and Cyprus to counter Turkish ambitions concerning the gas reserves discovered near the Ionian island. During the last NATO summit, the French president thus expressed strongly his annoyance at seeing Turkey act so unilaterally, by endangering the allied forces but also the integrity of its neighbors, and by equipping itself with equipment with a power that NATO designates as a potential adversary, and which designates the latter as its main adversary. Statements that sparked President Erdogan's ire, as well as a torrent of undiplomatic comments.[Armelse]
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