03.11.2022

How is Libya’s civil war connected to the disputes between Greece and Turkey?

Is Libya a field where Greece’s and Turkey’s competing interests in the region, but also their different alliances are clearly manifested?

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Under the Gaddafi regime relations between Greece and Turkey were strained in various periods. Gaddafi expressed his sympathy and support to Turkey following a US embargo on Ankara in 1974, angering Athens in the process. However, Gaddafi also harbored Kurdish and Armenian opposition and paramilitary organizations to the frustration of Ankara characterizing the divisive and confusing era of Gaddafi’s bilateral relations with Mediterranean neighbors. Since the revolution, Turkey has been trying to establish stronger bilateral relations with Libya than Greece based on the emerging political culture, shifting geo political dynamics and alliances prevailing post Arab Spring order. Following Khalifa Haftar’s attempted coup in April 2019 a civil war has transformed Libya into a new theatre, for a new Great Game being played out on land, sea and air This new great game has sparked a new crisis between Turkey and Greece since a maritime and security deal signed between Tripoli and Ankara in 2019 to block Haftar and his supporters.  Since the maritime crisis, Greece has been drawn towards the pro Haftar geo political alliance of Russia, the United Arab Emirates and France in Libya aiming to counter Turkey.

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