Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination (Topic: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation)

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Current Affairs Brain Booster for UPSC & State PCS Examination

Topic: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Why in News?

  • Neighbours and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies Greece and Turkey have been locked for weeks in a tense standoff in the eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey is prospecting the seabed for energy reserves in an area Greece claims as its own continental shelf.

Turkey-Greece Crisis

  • The current crisis is the most serious in the two countries’ relations in decades. The neighbours have come to the brink of war three times since the mid-1970s, including once over maritime resources in the Aegean Sea.
  • Simulated dogfights between Greek and Turkish fighter pilots have multiplied over the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean.
  • A Turkish and a Greek frigate collided last month, reportedly causing minor damage to the Turkish frigate but no injuries.
  • Escorted by a fleet of Turkish battleships, the Oruc Reis survey vessel has drawn the attention of the entire Greek fleet, which has been watching its every move for over a month now, ready to retaliate if, as the Greek government has said, it attempts to drill in areas of the seabed Greece claims as its own.
  • Turkey rejects the claims, saying islands are not entitled to what is known as an exclusive economic zone. Ankara instead believes it has the right to explore the oil- and mineral-rich eastern Mediterranean seabed after a recent maritime agreement it concluded with Libya.

French-Turkey Dispute

  • NATO is investigating an incident in the Eastern Mediterranean in which France says Turkish frigates were “extremely aggressive” towards a French navy vessel participating in a NATO mission in the area.
  • France was carrying out a NATO mission and trying to uphold the UN’s arms embargo to Libya and suspected Turkish vessel Cirkin for smuggling arms to Libya.
  • France who is also a member of NATO just like Greece and Turkey has publicly sided with Greece and has sent war ships to eastern Mediterranean in support of Greek Navy.
  • Ankara and Paris have been at odds over the civil war in Libya, accusing each other of supporting opposing sides in the country.

Turkey in Discord with NATO

  • The recent incidents caused by Turkey inside the alliance are only the latest in a series of tensions caused by Ankara.
  • Turkey still continues to block a NATO defence plan for Poland and Baltic states despite a deal last year between Turkey’s president and allied leaders.
  • The plan for the Baltic states and Poland, drawn up at their request after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, has no direct bearing on Turkey’s strategy in Syria, but it raises issues about security on all of NATO’s frontiers.
  • Diplomats said while Ankara has approved the plan, known as Eagle Defender, it has not allowed NATO military chiefs to put it into action.
  • Turkey had threatened to block the NATO agreement unless the alliance agreed to designate Syrian Kurdish fighters Ankara targeted in an October military offensive as terrorists.
  • NATO is a military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) on April 4, 1949, which sought to create a counterweight to Soviet armies stationed in central and Eastern Europe after World War II.
  • The heart of NATO is expressed in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, in which the signatory members agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all they have a right to either unilaterally or collectively take action against such attack.