Sosyal Medya


Consequences of the Libya-Turkey Hydrocarbon Agreement

Ebu Masum Mücahit*

During a time of global polarisation and tensions, the two Mediterranean countries reached an accord, increasing tension in the Eastern Mediterranean. After NATO forces struck Libya in 2011 and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was assassinated by rebellious people who fell for Western imperialist ploys, Libya was partitioned into two, and in particular three, regions. The civil war in Libya has been ongoing for a long time, particularly between Benghazi (French bloc) and Tripoli (British bloc), notwithstanding the ceasefire. Even though elections were held and a new government was created, due to the cancelled elections, the national front reached an agreement with the Turkish government. The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs publicized this agreement to the world. Consequently, voices were raised, particularly from the nations of the region. In the already tense environment, tension escalated slightly. In fact, the tension is on the rise.

What does the hydrocarbon agreement entail? Why do other parties object to an agreement between two countries? The Eastern Mediterranean is abundant in oil and natural gas resources, particularly in the territorial waters of Libya and Turkey. This wealth whets the appetites of a bloc consisting of Greece, Egypt, Israel, and France in particular. This deal means neither Greece nor Egypt can access the oil in Libyan territorial waters. Libya will extract its oil reserves via Turkey. Thus, creating a win-win situation for Libya and Turkey.

Turkey went to Libya with a large diplomatic delegation at the beginning of October 2022. This delegation included the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of National Defense, as well as the spokesperson of the Presidency, İbrahim Kalın. An agreement was made with the prime minister of the government on national reconciliation. The presence of the minister of defence in the diplomatic delegation means intimidation of third countries and trust in the Libyan government. While announcing this agreement to the world, the Turkish Foreign Minister said that it is an agreement in which both sides will benefit. In particular, Turkish Airlines will now organize flights to Benghazi and Tripoli. The trade between the two countries will develop, and the fact that he will appoint an ambassador to Benghazi in the future means extending an olive branch to Benghazi. He also emphasized that our agreement does not concern a third country. However, Egypt, Greece and France immediately opposed this and raised their voices.

The troops in Benghazi and Tripoli had declared a ceasefire and constituted a national reconciliation government. The Turkish government then declared its neutrality. However, with this deal, it declared its support for Tripoli and opposition to Haftar. However, it said that bilateral talks would also be held with Haftar, and if Haftar maintains good ties with Turkey and does not object to the agreement, Turkish airlines will also be permitted to fly to that territory. With this arrangement, Turkey has placed Greece in a difficult position due to their shared continental shelf. In fact, this agreement will also be crucial in the event of a Greek-Turkish war. Since  Turkish aircraft will also use the Libyan airfield, trapping Greece from an unexpected direction. The fact that there is not only oil but also a strategic understanding behind France and Greece’s protest implies that they could be placed in a difficult position.

How did Libya end up in this situation? In the aftermath of 9/11, US President George Bush said we are starting a new Crusade. The Crusades were expeditions to plunder the natural resources of the East by the West. US Vice President Condoleezza Rays said in 2001 that we would change the borders of 48 countries from Morocco to Indonesia. He described this project as the Greater Middle East Project. This meant imperialism’s re-exploitation of the oil region. Bush says he will shed a drop of blood for a drop of oil. After Afghanistan and Iraq, the Arab spring and the invasion of Libya began. Gaddafi donated 50 million dollars to help French President Sarkozy win the elections, but Sarkozy was the first to attack Libya. Because if you do not follow their religion, they will never be satisfied with you. Libya is occupied because of oil, the invaders operate oil wells, and the Libyan people begin to kill each other with petty excuses. Oil is a nuisance to NATO. Turkey is on good terms with the groups in Tripoli and supports them in this process. That is why NATO’s ships are stopping Turkey’s logistics ships, searching in international waters. That is when the events of today started. France and Greece were fighting with their ally Turkey at that time.

Allah has given oil, natural gas, gold, silver, geographical location, and everything to Muslims, and having these values demands a price. The Islamic Ummah stopped paying the price, especially after the 19th century, lost consciousness and attacked its enemies with local collaborators like carrion crows. Their homeland is gone, their honour is trampled, and their natural resources are taken. Muslims should follow Allah and His Messenger and establish a union of scholars (who know politics, economy and fiqh) as soon as possible. Develop a unity strategy.

The Muslims must establish strong military cooperation. This is the only way they can appear strong to their enemies and strike fear into their hearts. Of course, this is only possible if we do not have greedy leaders who dine and wine with the same ‘enemies’. For all of these to happen, we must raise generations with pure minds and hearts in Dar al-Arqâm.

It is noteworthy that after WWII, those who engaged in bitter battles and plunged the world into destruction sat together at the Yalta Conference. The French, the English, and all sat and ate with each other. So why can’t Muslims also agree with each other? Egypt should not be with Greece. Turkey should make an agreement with Libya, as this would be more profitable in the long run. Gaddafi, who helped Sarkozy yesterday, was killed by the body representing Sarkozy’s interest. So, will Greece not undermine Egypt and Sisi tomorrow? 

*This article was translated from Turkish to English language by Khadijah Ogunyemi

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