The director of Turkey’s program at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and the former member of the Turkish Parliament, Aykan Erdemir, identified the main motive that made Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intervene in Libya, saying that it lies in compensating for the failure of the Muslim Brotherhood Group in other places, especially in Syria, noting that his military and political interference succeeded in reversing the battle in favor of the group.
In an interview with “USL” program on 218News, Erdemir added that Erdogan has several other goals that he seeks to achieve in Libya, saying it included an attempt to extend Turkish influence in the eastern Mediterranean region, saying that the Turks see Libya as an opportunity to assert their dominance in the region and to challenge the Greek Cypriot territorial waters.
He stated that the emergence of Ankara’s new position in the Middle East and North Africa serves Erdogan’s ideology and Islamist agenda as well as its mission to advance the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood Group, which has alienated many of Turkey’s former allies because of the use of force or blackmail.
The American Role
Speaking about the US view of the conflict in Libya, Erdemir saw that Washington was upset with the dispute between its allies, Turkey and Egypt, especially because of the looming US elections, noting that the statements issued by the Foreign Ministry or the White House calling for caution are not sufficient.
He stressed the need for more participation and a more realistic approach towards the Libyan file, as Washington is the only acceptable actor for all parties in Libya and the Middle East, explaining that this is a moment in American policy in which there is no interest or desire to invest militarily or politically in Libya before the presidential elections in November.
He indicated that the situation in Turkey is seeing one of the worst economic recessions, considering that its intervention in Libya is an opportunity to gain a foothold in North Africa for energy and resources, and to expand the scope of its commercial footprint, adding that the financial relationship between GNA and Turkey is often at the expense of Libyans and at the expense of financial interests in Libya.
On Erdogan’s current moves, Erdemir said that his approach undermines Turkey’s alliance with NATO member states, and undermines NATO’s cohesion and solidarity in the medium term, revealing that there is growing concern in southern European countries of additional refugee flows, and that countries such as Italy and Malta are appeasing Erdogan because he has the upper hand as he threatens with the issue of migrants, pointing to the possibility that Europe will receive a new wave of jihadists who participated in some of the worst forms of fighting in Syria and Libya.
As for the statements of French President Emmanuel Macron regarding Turkey, the former Turkish MP saw that NATO is unable to impose an arms embargo on Libya and prevent human trafficking, adding that France has multiple concerns about Turkey’s proxy presence in Libya, and that what is happening in these countries may lead to regional war.