ANKARA: Deployment of Turkish troops to war-torn Libya has a strikingly low rate of support among the country’s population, a recent survey suggests.
More than 1,500 people across 12 provinces took part in the poll, conducted by market research firm Istanbul Ekonomi Arastirma, with 58 percent of respondents saying they disapproved of any troop deployment to the war-torn country. Only 34 percent were in favor of the deployment.
Can Selcuki, general manager of Istanbul Ekonomi Arastirma, said that people fail to see any benefit in sending troops to Libya.
“In other military involvements, such as those in northern Syria, the threat was Syrian Kurdish YPG taking root along Turkey’s borders. Hence public support was above 75 percent for both the Euphrates Shield and Peace Spring operations.
“Military involvement in Libya may be well justified from a national benefit perspective, but the government has more convincing to do,” he told Arab News.
Libyan intervention also divides the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Only 61.8 percent of the AKP voters consider the deployment of forces to Libya as a necessity, while 45 percent of the MHP voters are against the military presence in Libya.
Opposition party supporters are principally against military deployment to the North African country, with 92.9 percent of pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party voters opposed to the move. In the newly formed Iyi Party, the rate is 88 percent, while in the main opposition Republican People’s Party the figure is 78 percent.
Turkish people are also reluctant for the government to become involved in every conflict in its neighborhood, with 75 percent of respondents suggesting Ankara should adopt an intermediatory role for regional conflicts rather than becoming involved.
Along with drones, armored vehicles and Syrian mercenaries, Turkey recently sent military advisers to Libya following a request by Prime Minister Fayez Al-Serraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA), which Ankara backs against Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar.