Skip to main content

What is Turkey’s role in Tripoli political tremor?

The power struggle inside the Tripoli government is drawing Turkey into a political brouhaha with unpredictable consequences.
Prime Minister of Libya's UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) Fayez al-Sarraj (R) meets with Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at the GNA's presidential headquarters in the capital Tripoli on June 17, 2020. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
Read in 

The arm wrestling in Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), which boiled over with Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj’s suspension of the powerful Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha, has brought into question Turkey’s role in the power struggle among its allies in Libya. Some believe the row is an unwelcome development for Turkey, while others see it as a sign that Ankara has opted to back Bashagha, its No. 1 man in Libya, against Sarraj.

The circumstances surrounding Bashagha’s suspension and other reshuffles last week gave rise to speculation that Sarraj pulled off a preemptive “coup” against a coup plot by Bashagha, who was in Ankara at the time of his removal. Yet Libyan sources believe that Turkey is unlikely to undermine a government with which it signed critical accords on maritime demarcation and military cooperation in November 2019.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.