Erdoğan’s neo-Ottoman expansion in Libya should be countered by EU

Europe should counter Turkey’s Ottoman-inspired political and military intervention in Libya to prevent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from gaining control over key energy assets in the country, Graham Paul wrote for EU Reporter.

Turkey’s presence in Libya, where it is seeking to ensure a victory for the Tripoli-based government against opposition forces led by General Khalifa Haftar and to enter into agreements to exploit the country’s natural gas and oil resources. The intervention also threatens a new migration crisis from the North African country, including of Islamist Syrian mercenaries, Paul said on Sunday.

Paul referred to a report by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) outlining the alleged fleeing to Europe of nearly 2,000 Turkish-backed Syrian militants in Libya.

“European governments are taking steps to actively counter Turkish policy in Libya: France has already addressed NATO on this issue. The French president has already discussed the issue with U.S. President Donald Trump, and more exchanges are expected in the coming weeks,” Paul said.

“In order to protect European interests, it is important to protect Libya from Turkish expansion and to prevent Erdoğan from gaining control over the country’s assets.”