Friday

12th Aug 2022

Turkey decides to send troops to Libya

  • Turkey's parliament has given president Recep Tayyip Erdogan the go-ahead to send troops to Libya (Photo: Reuters)

Turkey's parliament has authorised president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to send military forces to Libya in order to support the UN-backed government against general Khalifa Haftar.

Turkey's move is likely to complicate the war in Libya further. Libya has been beset by a civil war since 2013 after a disagreement on the election results.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

When the party of the Muslim Brotherhood lost the elections for the second time, they decided to leave the parliament.

After that, the official parliament left Libya's capital Tripoli and went to the eastern city of Benghazi.

In order to solve the situation of two parliaments the United Nations decided to form a government of national accord lead by Fayez al-Sarraj.

However, this government was never recognised by forces on the ground and triggered general Haftar to take Libya from the east by force.

Haftar was able to take most of Libya but got stuck in Tripoli, where Sarraj' government as well as the Muslim Brotherhood are based.

The Libyan war quickly became an international proxy war with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Russia and France supporting Haftar.

Sarraj and the Muslim Brotherhood received support from Qatar, Turkey and Italy.

The decision of Turkey to send troops to Libya turns the proxy war into a real international conflict, with much similarities to the war in Syria.

Egypt immediately condemned the Turkish move, saying it would "negatively affect the stability of the Mediterranean region" and calling for the international community to react.

Turkey's vice-president, Fuat Oktay, told the state news agency Anadolu that the vote was intended as a political signal to deter Haftar's offensive, which has threatened Tripoli and outlying towns.

"We are ready. Our armed forces and our defence ministry are ready," he said.

Turkey's move comes days after Israel, Egypt, Greece and Greek Cyprus decided to establish exclusive economic zones for gas exploration, isolating Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea.

Earlier, Turkey signed a maritime jurisdiction agreement with Libya's UN-backed government giving Turkey rights to swathes of the Mediterranean where gas reserves have recently been discovered.

Turkey is also at odds with the US, after it invaded northern Syria and occupied Kurdish-Syrian land.

The two main Turkish opposition parties, CHP and IYI, were against the decision to send troop to Libya.

They said they do not see why Turkey should be involved in another conflict that has nothing to do with its own national security.

Opinion

The European choice in Libya

The EU has no principled stance, nor does it have a coherent strategy in the Arab world.

Opinion

Turkey's tightrope could finally snap in Libya

Turkey has embarked on a neo-Ottoman strategy, aiming to re-establish itself as a regional power. This involves simultaneously reaping the benefits of Nato membership whilst pursuing an overtly-expansionist foreign policy, even including a loose partnership with Russia in Syria.

Opinion

Libya is now turning into an international conflict

Italy, with its particular relations with Tripoli and Misrata, and UAE, with its significant influence in Egypt and Libya, can truly play a pivotal role in halting the Haftar offensive.

Opinion

Only Western unity can stop Iran hostage-diplomacy

The Belgian parliament's recent decision to ratify its prisoner-exchange treaty with Iran is a grave mistake, and one which exemplifies the many downfalls of dealing with Iran's human-rights abuses on a case-by-case basis.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Latest News

  1. Defying Russian bombs, Ukraine football starts new season
  2. Sweden to extradite man wanted by Turkey
  3. EU must beware Beijing's new charm offensive
  4. Forest fire near Bordeaux forces over 10,000 to flee
  5. Estonia and Latvia sever China club ties
  6. Russian coal embargo kicks in, as EU energy bills surge
  7. Only Western unity can stop Iran hostage-diplomacy
  8. Kosovo PM warns of renewed conflict with Serbia

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us