Following the Turkish Parliament’s decision to allow President Erdoğan to deploy the Turkish army in Libya, MEP Özlem Alev Demirel (Die Linke, Germany), Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Security and Defense and Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee says:

“Military interference by the Erdoğan government will exacerbate the civil war in Libya. The claim that the decision serves stability and peace in Libya is as cynical as the alleged threat to national interests posed by the civil war in Libya.

“On the one hand, the government is concerned with distracting from the economic and social problems facing Turkey by intensifying nationalist-chauvinistic feelings. On the other hand, it wants to maintain the agreement with the Libyan government from November on the sea borders between Libya and Turkey. With this agreement, Erdoğan’s government wants to be entitled to possible natural gas sources in the Eastern Mediterranean. If the Sarraj government falls in Tripoli in its fight against the Libyan National Army controlled by General Haftar, this agreement could also fall.

“The Erdoğan government is dragging Turkey in a very dangerous direction. Turkey has never been involved in so many conflicts since it was founded. It relies on its military strength and yet is isolated in the region. The increasing militarization of Turkish foreign policy is a dangerous and damaging development in a region that has been characterized by bloody conflicts for years.

“Erdoğan must now be prevented by diplomatic means, from conducting a military mission in Libya. The conflict in Libya must be resolved politically, not by further bloodshed.”

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Özlem Demirel