The Factors Motivating Turkey in Libya

Jan 10, 2020 | 10:30 GMT

A stock image of a map of North Africa, the Middle East and Southern Europe.

By sending Turkish troops to defend Libya's U.N.-backed government, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hopes to force a cease-fire that will protect his country's interests in the Mediterranean and burnish his regional reputation.


Turkey's parliament voted on Jan. 2 to authorize the deployment of Turkish troops to support Libya's U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord, led by Fayez al-Sarraj. Opposition political parties and some observers identified this move as a dangerous one that likely will result in the Turkish military entering into a civil war in which Turkey has no significant national interest and where it cannot realistically achieve its objectives. With three military interventions in Syria, it can be assumed that the deployment of Turkish troops to Libya is a full expression of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ambition to expand his country's military footprint across the region. Despite appearances, however, this aim does not seem to be Erdogan's main or sole intention....