Libyan Group Issues Open Letter Condemning Erdogan’s Colonial Rhetoric - Al Marsad

The Sons of Libya Group (SLG) has released a strongly worded Open Letter today addressed to Mr. António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, through his Special Envoy to Libya, Mr. Ghassan Salamé, on the statements made by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a forum organized by Turkish TRT World Broadcaster, in Istanbul on 21 October 2019. The Open Letter condemned Erdogan’s explicitly colonial rhetoric, in which he claimed what he called Turkey’s alleged right to several countries that were once part of the Ottoman Empire, including Libya and Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a forum organized by Turkish TRT World Broadcaster, in Istanbul on 21 October 2019

[Libya, 22 October 2019] – The Sons of Libya Group (SLG), a group which includes a number of leading former diplomats, academics and activists, stated that Erdogan’s rhetoric could have never been said had it not been for the bonds that tie Ankara with the remnants of the unconstitutional authority in Tripoli, the Government of National Accord (GNA), and its allies among the ideological armed group and radical militants.

In a letter received by Al Marsad, the SLG confirmed that the group has already sent the Open Letter to the Head of the UNSMIL, Mr. Ghassan Salamé. The SLG also stated that its campaign to collect signatures supporting the Letter is still open. Al Marsad translates here the Open Letter into English in full:



Statement No. (19) 

22 OCTOBER 2019


His Excellency Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

Your Excellency,

Further to our best greetings,

We have followed the speech of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a forum organized by Turkish TRT World Broadcaster, in Istanbul, on 21 October 2019, and its explicit colonial rhetoric, in which Erdogan claimed what he called Turkey’s alleged right to our country, Libya, which concerns us in the first place. He also referred to his country’s right to several other states, including the Syrian Arab Republic, in the framework of what he considers the geography of the old Ottoman Empire.

We wholeheartedly reject the aforementioned speech of Erdogan in which he referred to what he called his country’s right to revive its legacy in Libya and the region, which we remember as Libyan citizens as a legacy stained with blood, impoverishment, ignorance, taxes, looting, the destruction of villages with artillery, and the killing of thousands of our ancestors. He is repeating the same scenario in Libya today through killing our children with his unmanned planes in Tripoli and its outskirts, as his ancestors did in the Ottoman massacres against the Arabs, Kurds, Armenians and the Balkans.

Your Excellency, the Secretary General of the United Nations General Assembly

Erdogan’s speech is a clear and blatant violation of the Charter of the United Nations, a flagrant trespass on the national sovereignty of our country, which Erdogan aspires to turn it into a backyard of such suspicious projects, let alone inciting ethnic and chauvinistic tendencies that will have devastating effects on our country and our society. In this regard, we would like to express our fears about the consolidation of these ideas accompanied with an increasingly aggressive Turkish military presence in the west of our country, and the utilization of the planned Berlin meeting on the situation in Libya to consolidate Turkish intervention in our country.

That is why we demand that Turkey has to be excluded from the Berlin meeting, after its President has made clear his imperial intentions in broad daylight.

We consider that the Turkish President’s speech reveals his real intentions—which are both old and new—and centered on the establishment of an alleged Caliphate in our country through his extremist armies of the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, under the rule of his allies in Tripoli, which is a powerless and unconstitutional government protected by ideological armed groups; a government which is using the inhabitants of the Libyan capital as human shields; a government that has taken control of the financial institutions of the country that are being looted around the clock to transfer the capabilities of the Libyan people, whether gold or foreign currency, to Turkish banks, in order to support the deteriorating Turkish economy. In turn, we call on Erdogan to pay attention to the currency of his country, and the livelihood of his people and to leave Libya alone.

Your Excellency, the Secretary General of the United Nations General Assembly

We, hereby, reiterate our firm and unequivocal rejection of this colonial discourse, and call upon Your Excellency to condemn and reject it, in order to safeguard the Charter of the United Nations and its member states, and because we do not count on any position taken by the remnants of the Tripoli authority who are subjugated to, and hijacked by the speaker of the aforementioned rhetoric, for some known reasons; some of which the speaker has revealed in his speech. We also affirm our legitimate right to defend our country against these heinous schemes.

As Erdogan speaks of the geography of the ancient Ottoman Empire and its alleged right to revive its heritage in our country, we, the tribes, elites, military and politicians of Libya, hereby, also affirm our right to revive our struggle legacy against the Ottoman colonialists, and all their interests, in the footsteps of our ancestors and their revolts against all the successive Ottoman Sultans’ invaders of our sacred land. He who left yesterday defeated will not return today no matter what the price, under any name or any circumstances.

Kindly, Your Excellency, the Secretary-General, accept our highest esteem and appreciation.


The Signatories

(1) – Aref Ali Nayed

(2) – Abdullah Mohamed Al-Rabo

(3) – Ali Mohamed al-Regai

(4) – Abu Bakr Mohamed Ermila

(5) – Abdel Moneim Al-Yaseer

(6) – Amal Mohamed al-Wirfalli

(7)- Abdul Rahim Al-Janjan

(8) – Khalid Ali Adarnabah

(9) – Mohamed Mukhtar al-Ghanay

(10) – Ali Kasheer

(11) – Ali Abu Grain

(12) – Al Dhawi al-Muntassir

(13) – Issam Saleh Al-Tajouri

(14)- Al Salheen Abdul Nabi Mohamed

(15)- Mohamed Ali Rashid

(16)- Tariq Mohamed Al-Kish

(17) – Mohamed Ahmed Deira

(18) – Fawzi Mohamed al-Ghanay

(19) – Mohamed Deera

(20) – Laila Abu Saif Yassin

(21) – Ali al-Mali

(22) – Abdul Salam Naji Ikrayem

(23) – Ali Hammouda Hussain

(24)- Mohamed Saad Imbarak

(25)- Al-Mabruk Sultan

(26) – Firas Bou Saloum

(27) – Abdul-Aali Anwar Al-Drissi

(28) – Salem Boujanat

(29) -Majdi al-Naili

(30)- Maraai Aguila Shwerat

(31)- Ali Saeed al-Barghathy

(32)-Mustapha Mohamed Ali Kambraki

(33)- Faraj al-Sayeh

(34) –Ibrahim Amer

(35) –Saltana Masoud al-Mesmari

(36) –Yousuf Ali Zedan

(37) –Mohamed Musbah al-Barghuthy

(38) –Ibrahim Abu Bakr Nasr al-Megrahy

(39) –Abdul Raheem Mohamed Ali

(40) –Khalifa al-Waer al-Usaibi

(41) –Mohamed al-Lafy Abu Knaisha

(42) –Abdul Ghani Hassan Uraiba

(43) –Talal Abdulla al-Mehoub


© Al Marsad English (2019)