Turkish papers quick to scorn UN in Libya

AFP , Monday 21 Mar 2011

Turkish Islamist and secular press voice fears of Libyan civilian deaths amid a UN-mandated air campaign against the regime of leader Muammar Gaddafi, warning of creating "another Iraq"

"Libya should not become another Iraq," warned the Islamist daily Yeni Safak, deploring collateral damage in the north African country.

"Another Iraq" was also the headline of daily Haberturk, noting that the United States was now aiming its high-technology missiles at Libya, eight years after leading a coalition to oust Saddam Hussein from Iraq.

According to the Yeni Akit newspaper, another strictly Islamist daily, the Western powers are interested only in protecting their oil interests in Libya.

"The West kills civilians to prevent them from being killed by Gaddafi!" the daily wrote.

It was apparently referring to a claim by a Libyan official early Sunday that at least 48 people have died since the start of the Western-led Odyssey Dawn" military operation aiming to prevent Gaddafi forces from crushing a popular uprising.

But the United States said Sunday it had no evidence of civilian casualties in airstrikes by coalition forces over Libya.

The Turkish press recalled that Turkey's Islamist-rooted government opposed military intervention against Libya, fearing civilian losses.

The mass circulation daily Hurriyet also reported that civilian losses caused "massive reaction" from Russia and the Arab League.

"The elephants are at war, but civilians suffer. The objective is Gaddafi, but the Libyans are victims", secular daily Sozcu said.

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