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Why Did Turkey Support Libyan Government? – OpEd


The historical conflict between Libya and Ottoman Empire through the coastal areas of Libya during the mid-16th century and had made a great impact of the society of Libya. By then known as Tripolitania under the Ottomans. In the 18th century, Ahmed Karamanli founded the semi-independence Karamanli dynasty, which ruled Libya and still acknowledged Ottoman control.

Libya was one of the most prosperous parts of the empire with strong Libyan characters, in late 18th century, and the Barbary Wars launched by the United States only ensured the complete collapse of Karamanli authority.

At the end, until the Italian conquest, Ottoman rule in Libya was secured, but it was neglected from the mainland due to its lack of development.
when the war started in 2011 was among the first to immediately cut ties with Libya, demanding Gaddafi to quit the Government and Turkey would offer him in exile. On that time Gaddafi refused to do so and Turkey threw its support to anti-Gaddafi forces, notably National Transitional Council in July 2011.

Then Turkey took the chance since the collapse of Gaddafi’s regime and Gaddafi’s death, Turkey has, together with Qatar, played an instrumental role on promoting Islamist Government in Libya, but was soon interrupted by the rise of anti-Islamist Khalifa Haftar.

They returned again on December 2019 Turkey has underlined its willingness to send troops to Libya to defend the country’s UN-recognised government against General Khalifa Haftar, the eastern Libyan military warlord who is thought to be planning a decisive assault on the government of national accord in Tripoli.

They support Libya with a bill that allows troops to be deployed to Libya in support of the Tripoli-based government in the country’s worsening civil war according to that Turkey’s parliament has approved by a large majority, the vote taken during a special sitting, comes amid fears that the threat of Turkish intervention, in addition to that by other regional competitors, could intensify violence in Libya. MPs voted 325-184 in favour of the deployment.

This is intended to putting pressure on rival eastern forces in Libya led by Gen Khalifa Haftar who have been challenging Fayez al-Sarraj’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord.

On the other side, the emergence of a new potential front for confrontation in a region where Turkey is flexing its diplomatic and military muscle against rivals including Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, they support Khalifa Haftar because they see that the war in the Middle East was caused by Turkey.

In addition, the vote it was disclosed that the US president, Donald Trump, had also discussed the situation in Libya with Erdoğan, in a phone call in which the two “stressed the importance of diplomacy in resolving regional issues”. Also, Erdoğan is expected to discuss Libya with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, next week.

In order that, the Turkish decision was quickly criticized by Egypt, one of the key backers of Haftar’s forces, which said in a statement it “strongly condemned” the plan.

During that time Turkish support for the GNA government led by Fayez al Serraj has until now been limited to drones and armaments, and it would be a major escalation to send ground troops to defend Tripoli. On the other side, Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, said no formal request for troops has yet been made by the GNA, but added “sending troops is the easiest way”.

All the time Haftar claims to be removing Islamist terrorists from Tripoli. His opponents describe him as a war criminal who will snuff out any chance of democracy in Libya. Therefore, Haftar’s assault was launched in April, but until now has been bogged down in the suburbs of the capital, the conflict has been made more complex by the arrival of 200 Russian mercenaries backing Haftar, an intervention that Serraj is highlighting to drum up support for his government in Washington.

After that more than 28 people have been killed in an attack on a military academy in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, the government’s health minister said. Also there has been an increase in air strikes and shelling around Tripoli in recent weeks, with fears that fighting could escalate further after Turkey’s parliament voted to allow a troop deployment in support of the GNA.

On Saturday the forces allied with the GNA described attack on the military camp at Al-Hadhba as “an aerial bombing” launched by their eastern rivals.

Hamid bin Omar, health minister for the GNA, said the number of dead and wounded was still rising. Tripoli ambulance service spokesman Osama Ali said some body parts could not be immediately counted by forensic experts.

Emergency teams withdrew after coming under fire while trying to access the area. On Friday an increase in air strikes and shelling in and around Tripoli has caused the deaths of at least 11 civilians since early December, according to that the rockets and shelling also shut down Tripoli’s only functioning airport.

Moreover, the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, renewed his call for an immediate ceasefire in Libya, warning that the delivery of foreign support to warring parties would “only deepen the ongoing conflict and further complicate efforts to reach a peaceful and comprehensive political solution”.

Saudi Arabia condemned the Turkish parliament’s approval of a troop deployment to Libya, and considers it a violation of UN security council decisions, the statement added that “the kingdom affirms that this Turkish escalation poses a threat to the security and stability in Libya and a threat to Arab and regional security, as it is an interference in the internal affairs of an Arab country in flagrant violation of international principles and covenants”. at the end, who will stop the civil war in Libya?

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Miral Sabry Al Ashry

Miral Sabry Al Ashry is an Associate Professor at Future University (FUE), Political Mass Media Department.

One thought on “Why Did Turkey Support Libyan Government? – OpEd

  • January 6, 2020 at 9:12 am

    Hi miss Miral Sabry Al Ashry,
    Would you please show us your evidence that can prove Turkey”s involvement of to begin mideast war


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