Skip to Content

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Neo-Ottoman dreams on the African continent. Photo:

Erdogan’s Africa Corps

The Turkish Parliament adopted a motion at an emergency session on January 2, authorising the government to send Turkish troops to Libya for one year.

Published: January 4, 2020, 12:11 pm

    Read more

    The ruling AKP party and the nationalist MHP supported the motion, which was voted during an emergency session. The main opposition party CHP and the left-liberal HDP rejected the request.

    Libya was plunged into total chaos following the fall and assassination of leader Muammar Qaddafi in 2011. There is currently a kind of “dual rule” – a diarchy or duumvirate in the country. The one power centre is a parliament in Tobruk (eastern Libya), which supports General Khalifa Haftar.

    In the west, the “Government of National Accord” (GNA) in Tripoli rules, which is supported by the United Nations. The GNA was founded on 17 December 2015 with the help of the UN and legalised by the Libyan political agreement signed in Skhirat (Morocco). The agreement was aimed at rebuilding the country, fighting terrorism in the region and creating a constitution for Libya.

    All the pursuant objectives failed, and at the same time, according to the agreements, the mandate of the GNA was only legally valid for a year. In case of failure of the constitution (which had to be submitted to the House of Representatives in Tobruk), the mandate would automatically have been extended for another year.

    This shows that the GNA was a legal entity until December 2017 in accordance with the Libyan political agreement. Due to the complicated situation in Libya, the involvement of various countries in the conflict, which used various political and religious groups as proxies (including terrorists and clans and tribes connected to them) to represent their interests, the situation developed into a deep crisis.

    This did not allow for the creation of a new constitution and had undermined the position of the UN-backed Prime Minister Fayiz as-Saraj. Sarraj tried to secure his control over Tripoli. This was a difficult mission, as many groups in the GNA bloc were pursuing their own diplomatic line – in alliance with other foreign forces.

    A good example of this is the so-called Mahjub Brigade of Misrata: experts Jalel Harchaoui and Mohamed-Essaïd Lazib described the tricky situation as follows: “In 2017, Mahjub commanders were among a delegation that met with the Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in Doha. The Defence Minister of the GNA and other Libyan state officials rejected the move on the grounds that it was tantamount to Misrata’s own foreign policy. Moreover, the move came just a week after Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced their blockade of Qatar.”

    The escalation of the conflict between the opposition military leader Khalifa Haftar and Sarraj intensified.

    In April 2019, Haftar launched a military operation against Tripoli. In December 2019 he declared that he would take control of Tripoli by New Year’s Eve. This plan failed, but with Turkey signing a memorandum of military cooperation with Sarraj in November 2019, a new geopolitical player suddenly appeared in the North African land of chaos.

    Syrian experts are certain that at least 1 600 terrorists from the Syrian-Arab region are in Turkish camps, where they are being prepared and trained to be sent to Libya to support the forces of the GNA.

    According to sources in Turkey, about 2 000 Syrian fighters were shipped from Turkey to Libya from Mersin in the second half of October 2019. The Turkish cargo ship Medcon Sinop was used for this transport.

    Already in May of the same year, the ship Amazon had delivered armored vehicles to Tripoli, and later the use of unmanned combat drones – possibly of Turkish origin – was confirmed by GNA forces.

    The Amazon notably carried MRAP Kirpi II and Vuran armored vehicles on board.

    On 20 June 2019, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that Ankara was indeed violating the UN embargo and selling weapons and equipment to the GNA. And on June 22, the Arab media reported on Turkey’s new arms shipment to Libya, citing a high-ranking Libyan military source.

    The UN group of experts noted that the Amazon had, in addition to the armored vehicles, delivered the first shipment of four Bayraktar TB2 reconnaissance drones to Libya, manufactured by the Turkish company Baykar Makina.

    Information that Turkey is moving Syrian terrorists to Libya became known in April 2019 after the Libyan National Army, under the command of the GNA, launched the next phase of the “Al-Karama” anti-terrorist operation. Jihadist groups were on their way to Tripoli and Misrata to strengthen the armed groups of the GNA.

    According to sources in Istanbul, there were possible dispatches of Syrian terrorist groups from Istanbul (members of the so-called “Free Syrian Army”). Also, the fighters of the company SADAT International Defense Consultancy Inc. (known as “Erdogan’s private army”) were sighted in the Tripoli region.

    The latest news from Turkey confirmed that the Turkish government had organized a transfer of more than 1 000 fighters of the “Free Syrian Army” to Libya on December 29 and 30, 2019. The coordination of the transport of the terrorist groups was taken over by Fahim Eisa, the military leader of the Sultan Mura Division.

    And the flights from Gaziantep airport had been carried out under the strictest veil of secrecy.

    The timing as well as planning show that Turkey had already been active in providing military support to GNA forces before the decision to send Turkish military groups to Libya was ratified by Parliament.

    The question arises as to the motivation of the Turks to engage in the Libyan conflict.

    By doing so, perhaps Erdogan is killing two birds with one stone: he is pursuing his geopolitical ambitions of his so-called “neo-Ottoman” policy and at the same time getting rid of the terrorist groups stationed in Turkey, whose presence in Turkey has caused increasing unease among the Turkish population.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.


    South Africa’s infrastructure 30 years after the end of Apartheid

    LondonHating South Africa was part of growing up in North London in the 1980s. Pelle Taylor and Patrick Remington from Two Raven Films, recently interviewed South Africans about the decline of the country after Apartheid ended.

    Nigerian President: More weapons for Ukraine end up in Africa

    LagosSome time ago, FWM reported on arms deliveries to Ukraine, which shortly afterwards were resold on the Internet. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that "weapons used in the war in Ukraine are gradually leaking into the region" and called for strengthened border security.

    Namibia sees opportunity to attract German energy refugees

    Windhoek"The former German colony, Namibia wants to help Germany in its energy crisis". This is how an article in the online edition of a German newspaper recently began about Namibia's new "Digital Nomad" visa. The six-month visa is ideal for long-term holidaymakers. And for professionals who have their office on their laptop and can work from anywhere.

    Uneven global population growth reaches 8 billion

    According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), we celebrated the 8 billionth day* on November 15. The planet's population is still increasing dramatically, albeit at a decreasing pace.

    French fuel debacle spills over to Senegal

    DakarThe recent events at the French embassy in Burkina Faso were yet another demonstration against France on the African continent after France was ousted from Mali. All it took was a rumour to attract the sympathy of the population and demonstrators to head to the French Embassy.

    New South African drone to compete with Turkey’s Bayraktar

    PretoriaThe South African defense company Milkor unveiled its Milkor 380 reconnaissance and attack unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). It is expected to become a competitor to Turkey's Bayraktar and Anka drones.

    Bucking the trend: Uganda bans work by LGBT group

    KampalaThe Ugandan government has banned the activities of a local non-governmental organization that campaigns for the rights of sexual minorities. According to a senior official, the organization worked illegally in the African country.

    South Africa: 82 suspects arrested after a mass rape

    KrugersdorpDozens of black men ambushed a film crew at an abandoned mine near Johannesburg on Friday. They raped eight models between the ages of 19 and 35. As they fled, the police shot dead two suspects and 82 other people were arrested.

    BRICS expansion on the cards

    More and more emerging countries are considering joining the BRICS group, which is seen as the major emerging countries' counterweight to the US-led West and the G7. Especially in times like these, this is also a clear signal to Washington.

    Poland opens border after South Africa complains about their treatment of blacks

    PretoriaThere is a very diverse crowd on the German-Polish border currently trying to take advantage of the war situation. Do they really all come from Ukraine?

    Go to archive