SPECIAL | Conflict Within the Presidential Council and GNU Over Turkish Delegation Visit – Al Marsad

SPECIAL | Informed sources revealed to AlMarsad that a sharp dispute has broken out between members of the Presidential Council and the interim Government of National Unity (GNU) on the one hand, and between the Prime Minister and a number of his ministers on the other hand, during the visit by the high-level Turkish delegation today. Sources said the tense atmosphere on the Libyan side was reflected by the fact that the meetings of the Turkish delegation took place separately with the President and another with Musa al-Koni and Abdallah al-Lafi.

(LIBYA, 12 June 2021) – informed and responsible sources, who prefer to remain anonymous, told AlMarsad that dispute arose over the arrival of the Turkish ministerial delegation to Tripoli without prior permission and coordination with the Libyan authorities. The sources said the Turks deliberately orchestrated a humiliating situation, including the disgraceful behavior of Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar during his arrival in Mitiga yesterday—also without any warning to the Libyan government and airport authorities, along with his insistence of having no Libyan officials and security present upon his arrival at the military base.

The Turkish ministerial delegation arrived today under orders from President Recep Erdogan ahead of the NATO meeting in Brussels. The delegation was headed by Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, and included Defense Ministers Hulusi Akar (who arrived yesterday), and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, in addition to Chief of Staff Yaşar Güler, and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan. It also included the head of the Communications Department at the Presidency of the Republic, Fakhruddin Altun, and the presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin.

Separate meetings between by the President, the other Presidential Council members, and the Prime Minister with the Turkish delegation


The same sources indicated that among the reasons for the differences, was “the insistence of the Turkish delegation to set dates for official meetings with the government in proportion to the Turkish delegation, which described itself and its forces as not being ‘foreigners’ in Libya.” This attitude caused embarrassment to several government members in the face of Libyan public opinion.

Several Libyan political, military, and social figures condemned abrasive Turkish actions, and are still waiting for the Libyan government to respond to the violations of international diplomatic norms by the Turkish ministerial delegation. They were particularly appalled at the provocative statements made by Turkish officials from inside Tripoli against other Libyan parties, and displaying an imperial mentality towards Libyans. Some commentators said Akar behaved as if he were stepping on an Ottoman colony, an occupied land, rather than an independent and sovereign state.


One of the sources told AlMarsad: “The Turks are deliberately embarrassing us and suggesting that they control us and our capital. It seems that they have not yet understood that the scene has changed and that Sarraj’s rule has ended; but we have not seen yet a clear position from our government and the presidency on this embarrassing matter, even for some ministers within their own circles. When Akar says “We are not foreigners”, our officials should clarify whether the Turks have become Libyans; or whether the Libyans have became Turks, or whether Libya has become a Turkish colony.”


The same sources noted that among these provocations was the Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar “directing insults to one of the Libyan parties, to deliberately worsen the situation, and perhaps even seek to a return to war. This is very possible give the pressure on Turkey and others to get out of Libya with the approach of the second Berlin Conference.” The sources, added that “the Turks are deliberately providing misleading ‘information’ of a new war, an imminent or alleged internal coup in Tripoli, to just their stay in Libya and that of their mercenaries.”

Yesterday, sources from the protocol team at Mitiga revealed to AlMarsad some of the humiliating actions carried out by Hulusi Akar which Libyans saw as scandalous, such as the absence of any Libyan official present when he landed, and the Libyan guards being expelled so that the Turkish guards could receive him only, and holding a closed meeting with them. The Libyan authorities had no control over Akar’s movements in their capital.


Akar had deliberately directed veiled insults in his previous visits, including raising only the Turkish flag inside Mitiga hall, holding a New Year’s party for his officers, and his office publishing a clip of Akar reprimanding al-Haddad and his military zone commanders on how to sit in front of him.

Many Libyans warned that the Turkish presence in western Libya, made possible through an illegal agreements signed by Fayez al-Sarraj and condemned by Libya’s Parliament, has turned into a neo-Ottoman occupation. It is up to the interim government of Dbaiba and the Presidential Council be firm to the Turkish authorities to respect Libya’s sovereignty and to depart from its lands as required by the 5+5 Joint Military Commission and the UN Security Council.



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