Turkey to increase military support for Libya’s GNA if necessary - Erdoğan

Ankara’s maritime deal signed last month with Libya does not contradict Turkish or international laws and Turkey might raise the level of military support for the UN-recognised Libyan government if necessary, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday.

Turkey will evaluate ground, air and marine options in providing military support for Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), news site T24 quoted the Turkish president as saying.

Turkey backs the GNA government of Fayez al-Serraj in Libya, which has been split into rival political and military factions since the civil war of 2011. Ankara has said it could send troops to Libya if the GNA makes such a request. 

Ankara and the GNA signed last month two agreements on security and military cooperation and restriction of marine jurisdictions in a move that has stoked tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, where a number of countries are vying for the rights to hydrocarbon resources.

The agreement ignores territorial waters around the divided island of Cyprus and number of Greek islands, including Crete.

The Turkish president also announced that six new submarines would go into service in the Turkish Naval Forces between 2022 and 2027, with a new one joining the naval fleet each year.