The End of Erdogan’s Myth

Alaa Thabet
Saturday 18 Jan 2020

The frontiers of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, will witness the end of the myth of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, where the last stronghold of terrorist groups is located. Despite the declaration that Turkish troops have been shipped to Libya, and thousands of mercenaries were brought from the northern parts of Syria to give a helping hand to Libyan terrorists led by the Muslim Brotherhood in Tripoli, the Libyan army’s march to liberate the capital have not been deterred.

On the eastern side of Tripoli lies the city of Serte which was easily liberated by the Libyan army, thus weakening the tight grip of Islamists on the Libyan soil to only five percent. This government has occupied the capital with the help of armed gangs that have been fighting each other and competing to dominate each and every district in the capital to seize private and public properties and spread terror and corruption all over the place, but it could not stand for long in front of the Libyan army. The government in Tripoli opened fire at Libyans who went out asking to get rid of these gangs.

Within this terrorist framework, Libyans have to fight back and resist armed gangs and the government that has been protecting them.
Under the banner of Islam and the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate, President Erdogan of Turkey has been looking forward to what many Turkish officials call the “historical legacy of the Ottoman Empire” in the eastern parts of the Mediterranean and the region as a whole. Thus, he found the chance to strike a deal with the weak Libyan government led by Fayez Al-Sarrag, to control the regional and international water stretching out from Turkey to Libya.

The illusions of reviving the Old Ottoman Empire that invaded our countries centuries ago, promoted by the Turkish president, seem to have given him the right to inherit our lands, take over our resources and use terrorists to empower him as the new caliph of the modern occupying power.

Moving the defeated mercenaries from Syria to fight the Libyans in front of the world community is one of the most abhorring human crimes ever committed. Erdogan is leading a network of multinational mercenaries but his troops, as he claims, are only there to train and arm the government of Al-Sarrag. The Turkish president, who is scared to be defeated in Tripoli, should be tried first and foremost by the Turks as acriminal of war according to international law when his illusions drop out along the coasts of the Mediterranean.

Now Erdogan is already losing most of his friends and the opposition is growing fast within his own Justice and Development Party as many of its leading figures left the sinking ship.
To save what remains of his legacy, Erdogan is looking for a new adventure in Libya. But the success of this adventure is the zero-sum of his many attempts to survive his failures in his country and abroad. Looking for a safe haven, Erdogan asked Russia to interfere and find a way out for his miserable position in Libya and a way to save face and take a piece of the cake.

But what he has been asking for proved to be a part of his illusions; the man is talking as if he is victorious, capable of occupying Libya and the waters of the Mediterranean with all the resources lying at the sea bed, especially with the new gas discoveries. When Erdogan was disappointedhe couldn’t find gas near his shores, he dreamt of taking the lion’s share of the resources of other countries. His maps ignored two sovereign states (Cyprus and Greece), cutting out parts of the Libyan coast. His claims of historical properties are nothing but myths.

His demand for Russian mediation tells volumes. Erdogan has realised that he will be defeated sooner than later and his attempts to control greater parts of Libya to move towards the oil fields are to no avail. Due to the increasing human causalities and the destruction of Libya’s infrastructure, the Russians worked hard to get Colonel Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan army, to the negotiating table.

As was the case in Iraq and Syria, Erdogan cares about nothing but his myth of the Ottoman legacy. He has been manipulating Islamists and draining his country’s resources to pay mercenaries from all over the world to establish his caliphate. But Erdogan, who claimed that he will be praying at Amway Mosque in Damascus and get the Ottoman’s share of Kirkuk oil when reaching Mosul in Iraq, will soon be defeated in Tripoli as has always been the case.

I do not believe that Russia which had to put an end to Erdogan’s dreams in Syria, will take his side in Libya. The Turkish plight in Libya is glaringly obvious. In Syria and Iraq, his claims that he has the right to fight the separatist Kurds had given him some time to pull out of the two countries but not in Libya where there are no Kurds or even joint borders. Turkey and Libya are separated by one of the biggest seas in the world and Tripoli has no Turks to be protected and will never form a threat to the Turkish state. There are no standing pretexts for Erdogan to invade Libya but his dreams of the caliphate and his greed to control the resources of the Arabs.

On the other hand, Egypt shareslong borders with Libya and very strong historical relationships with the Libyans. There are many tribes living along the two countries’ borders, half of whom are Libyans and the other Egyptians. Libyans took part and fought along the Egyptian army in the October 1973 War against Israel. They have also been fighting terrorism hand-in-hand with our army. Therefore, Libya’s national security is part and parcel of the policies of Egypt’s national security.

The Libyan army is strong enough to fight Erdogan’s mercenaries and tighten its grip on the capital. The mercenaries will be left with no option but to surrender and Erdogan will win nothing but a new defeat. At the frontiers of the Libyan capital and on the Mediterranean shores, the Turkish president, just like all occupiers, will learn the hard way that the Ottoman legacy ended centuries ago and can never be revived.

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