La Repubblica: Turkey Accelerates Its Military Intervention in Libya – Al Marsad

As Turkey is going forward at full speed with its military intervention plans in Libya, the motion which will be presented tomorrow to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey is expected to seek endorsement from the Turkish Parliament for a one-year mandate to deploy Turkish troops in Libya. The motion is under the pretext that the accelerating developments in Libya threaten Turkey’s interests there, including Turkish businesses and companies, as well as Turkish vessels sailing in the Mediterranean, according to a preliminary draft text.

[Libya, 01 January 2020] – It can easily be forecasted that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will back the motion, while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the IYI Opposition (The Good Party), and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) will vote against the draft bill.

On 30 December, the CHP said the possible deployment would “embroil Turkey” in another conflict and make it a party to the “shedding of Muslim blood … Turkey must instead give priority to a diplomatic solution in Libya. We do not want this terrible picture that unfolded in Syria to unfold in yet another country,” Unal Cavukoz, the CHP’s deputy chairman, told reporters after a meeting with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

La Repubblica reported today that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is supporting the Government of National Accord in Libya and upholding the concluded agreements. “This means that the defense pact concluded on November 27 between Ankara and Tripoli will be implemented.”

The Italian newspaper added that Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar confirmed that preparations have started for sending military forces to Libya, pending “ratification by our Parliament of the Memorandum of Understanding on security aspects signed with the Government of National Accord. The task will be entrusted to the Turkish Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defense. We cannot remain indifferent to the damage done to our Libyan brothers,” Hulusi Akar said.

More worryingly for the stability of the Mediterranean. however, is the information that La Repubblica reported that “Turkish Defense officials, heads of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and other security apparatuses have begun preparations to train and deploy 1600 Islamic fighters in Libya who have been engaged in Syria and are now preparing for a possible mission in Libya in Turkish training camps.”

On 7 January the Foreign Ministers of Italy, France, Great Britain, Germany will make a trip to Tripoli and probably also to Benghazi together with Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. However, according to La Repubblica, “Libyan political circles evidently close to Turkey have started to stir up Libyan public opinion against the EU and against Italy.” They say that the European foreign ministers’ visit to Tripoli is “futile and late.”

© Al Marsad English (2020)