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.