Turkey’s Libya Gambit
- Claudia Gazzini, Consulting Analyst for Libya, International Crisis Group
- Serhat Güvenç, Associate Professor of International Relations, Kadir Has University
- Kadri Tastan, Senior Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Following two memoranda of understanding on “Delimitation of Maritime Jurisdiction Areas in the Mediterranean” and “Security and Military Cooperation” signed between Ankara and the Tripoli-based Libyan National Union (GNA) government last November, the Turkish parliament approved a motion allowing Turkish President Erdogan to send soldiers to Libya on January 2. Ankara has been steadily increasing its military support to Tripoli against its rival, the Tobruk-based government, whose Libyan National Army (LNA) receives military support primarily from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Russia. While there are concerns that Turkey could risk facing a “mission creep” in Libya, Turkey’s involvement has triggered new diplomatic initiatives, such as the cease-fire talks in Moscow with both Fayez Sarraj, the head of Libya’s U.N.-recognized government in Tripoli and his rival Khalifa Hafter attended.
What are Turkey’s objectives Libya and how far is Turkey likely to go to accomplish them? What are the main dynamics in Libyan civil war and how the conflict is evolving? What are the broader implications for Turkish foreign policy and Turkey’s relations with its allies?
This roundtable discussion is part of a series of events and analyses organized as part of the GMF-TOBB Fellowship on Turkey, Europe, and Global Issues, launched by GMF in partnership with the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) in 2017.