Structural changes in the Muslim world, and Turkey’s geopolitical intervention in Libya

Turkey’s National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Chief of General Staff Yaşar Güler’s visit to Libya is significant in terms of demonstrating Turkey’s determination in its Mediterranean policy. This second ministerial visit following the Turkey-backed Government of National Accord’s (GNA) major military successes is proof that our presence in Libya is anything but coincidental. As is known, there was a previous top-level visit to Libya. This high-level visit after the pandemic had reinforced Turkey’s presence in Libya. The difference between those who participated in the first visit and those who joined the second visit is also important. In the first visit, the Turkish state’s presence was represented at the highest level, while the second visit was carried out by the national defense minister and the chief of General Staff. If the political presence in Libya was supported with a representational military presence, it would not have had much significance. Turkey has enough experience to know what might happen in such a situation. Therefore, its military presence being represented at the highest level is identified as a matter of survival for Turkey. This thus shows the significance of our presence in Libya.

Though some groups are disturbed by our presence, there is no detriment in using the concept of perpetuity in terms of Libya. A century later, our region started to collapse in a way that would endanger our presence in Anatolia. A destabilization intervention was conducted on the disintegration of the bipolar world aimed at our whole region. The interventions made in the early 1990s gave rise to permanent problems at our near and far borders. During this period, the Emirati, Saudi Arabian, and Egyptian administrations in particular acted in cooperation with imperialist powers such as Europe and the U.S., which intervened from abroad, and thus played an active role in the region’s disintegration. The objective was to act together to capture countries from within. This process is actively ongoing.

Turkey’s fight to stop the disintegration despite all the interventions in our region led to certain results. The current fight between imperialist states needs to be analyzed well. The identification of this fight as a new war to carve up the region shows that the process lacks sound analysis. At the time of an intervention in Algeria in the early 1990s or when Libya was bombed by aircraft in the 2010s, there was no reaction towards France. It truly is telling that the politicians, who point to the removal of Shah Suleiman’s tomb as a great victory, have been able to walk side by side in Paris with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Yet, the North Africans living in the outskirts of France are the elements bringing the problems of the colonial periods to the present. Surely the killing of certain people in Paris was an important issue; however, during the same period, innocent people were constantly being killed at resistance points of the Islamic region, which also includes Turkey. As France was never accused of the murders it committed in Algeria or Libya, it thought it could do as it pleased in Syria and North Africa. Similar to the removal of the tomb of Shah Suleiman, it thought no power could stand against it. Hence, it is quite natural for France to be clueless when Turkey rescued Libya from the verge of collapse within a few months. This is the first time Turkey has undertaken geopolitical interventions that may impact the whole region.

Showing its political and military presence in an irrevocable manner, Turkey identified Libya as a matter of its survival. However, we need to see that this definition is not limited to Libya alone and encompasses all of the East Mediterranean. Syria and Idlib became a part of Turkey’s Libya policy too. The inability of countries such as France to produce a solution whenever Turkey displays a firm stance needs to be approached from different perspectives. They had taken action in the 1990s for the last time with the confidence that no power would dare try to stop them. In the 2010s, they simultaneously intervened in Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Tunisia, Syria, and Yemen, but despite all the adverse circumstances, our region survived. This is sign of an extremely powerful regional resistance. We need to see that this resistance emerged with the elimination of dependent structures. Thus, it is possible to say there has been a structural change.

The concern of dependent structures with the activation of the region’s dynamics cannot be explained away with perspectives restricted to local boundaries. It would be asking too much to expect those who have given into their personal ambitions to see these structural changes.

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