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Turkey: Gaddafi’s Death A ‘Turning Point’ For Libya

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By Alakbar Raufoglufor

Moammar Gaddafi was the third of the region’s leaders to be ousted by his own people in nine months, but the first to meet a bloody end.

The foreign ministry lauded the action, saying it should be a warning to others.

“Turkey believes the fate of the autocratic regime of Moamaar Gaddafi … is a painful lesson with respect to change and democratic transformation movements in the region,” the ministry said in a statement. “We [Turkey] expect members of Gaddafi family and his regime’s officials to surrender to justice “as soon as possible.”

Ayhan Sefer Ustun, the head of Turkish parliament’s Human Rights Investigation Commission, said Gaddafi’s death on Thursday (October 20th), “marks a logical end to the Libyan revolution”.

“Now, Libyan people can focus on all of the freedoms they obtained, to strengthen their unity and show an example to others,” he told SETimes. “Turkey is ready to help them [Libyan people] to overcome this period.”

For Fevzi Sanverdi, former chairman of Turkey-Libya Friendship Group, Gaddafi’s death is a significant message to the Arab world. “Not all of the leaders would like an end like that.”

“They [the dictators] should remember [Gaddafi’s] actions, and take their lessons [from that],” he told SETimes. “Gaddafi ignored all … calls for reforms, just like Syria leaders do now.”

Nationalist Action Party (MHP) MP Ozcan Yeniceri said Gaddafi’s death puts more responsibility on the Arab world revolutions and its supporters.

“This is only the end of the one period,” he told SETimes, adding that he worries about the path forward for Libya. “The road ahead for the Libyan people and their supporters will be challenging. The International community, especially the West, should continue punishing the dictators.”

As for Turkey’s role, he said “Ankara should work closely with Libya to ensure the transition is successful, and that a stable, peaceful nation emerges.”

Oytun Orhan, Middle East analyst at the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies in Ankara, however, believes Libya’s future is in its people’s hands. “Today they got even greater chance of building for themselves a strong and democratic future and international friends.”

For Ekrem San, a 32-year-old entrepreneur from Izmir, Gaddafi’s death raises different challenges.

San was one of the foreigners, whose business had shut during the uprising — he left Benghazi this April.

“I had a fast food restaurant over there. Hopefully, we can return back to our business after a while,” he told SETimes.

Turkey had $15 billion worth of investment in Libya before the uprising started. Many in Ankara believe economic factors played a role in Turkey’s policy towards Libya this spring, as its attitude to Gadhafi has been more restrained.

Now, Orhan says, Ankara can consider itself a friend of Libyan people. “Before Gaddafi’s death, Turkey moved swiftly to assist Libya’s National Transitional Council, opening its doors for them, providing with government assistance,” he said.

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SETimes

The Southeast European Times Web site is a central source of news and information about Southeastern Europe in ten languages: Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, English, Greek, Macedonian, Romanian, Serbian and Turkish. The Southeast European Times is sponsored by the US European Command, the joint military command responsible for US operations in 52 countries. EUCOM is committed to promoting stability, co-operation and prosperity in the region.

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