Turkey maintains imperialist ambitions in Libya, says ousted Kurdish mayor

It has been almost a century since the Ottoman Empire’s rule over Libya, but Turkey still maintains imperialist goals in the Middle East, ousted mayor of Turkey’s southeastern Mardin province Ahmet Türk said on Saturday

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan still uses Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's arrival in Tripoli at the turn of the 20th century to fight in the then-Ottoman territory as justification for Turkey’s current involvement in the Libyan conflict, veteran Kurdish politician Türk said.

“It has been a hundred years. Now Libya is independent. Libya, Yemen, Iraq are independent,” The Independent Turkish quoted Türk as saying during a pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Congress in Turkey’s southeastern province of Batman.

Turkey has invaded several regions in the Middle East, Türk said. 

“You say foreign powers should withdraw, what business do you have in Afrin and Serekaniye (in Syria)? In Erbil and Sulaimaniya (in Iraq)? In Tel Abyad?” Türk said, in an apparent reference to Erdoğan’s recent comments that foreign powers should withdraw from the Middle East.

Turkey’s imperialist goals should be exposed clearly for all people, including those of Turkey, to see, Türk said.