Turkey’s aggression threatens Libya’s unity, regional stability

Supporters of LNA commander Khalifa Haftar take part in a gathering in the eastern Libyan port city of Benghazi on July 5, 2020, to protest against Turkish intervention in the country’s affairs. (AFP)
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Updated 08 July 2020

Turkey’s aggression threatens Libya’s unity, regional stability

  • Haftar said his army will continue to fight against Turkish aggression

LONDON: Turkey’s aggression threatens the unity of Libya and the stability of the region, eastern commander Khalifa Haftar said on Tuesday.
He also said “Turkey and terrorism threatens our existence,” adding that “Turkey seeks to control the capabilities and wealth of our country.”
Haftar said his Libyan National Army (LNA) will continue to fight against Turkish aggression. “We will not give up our national principles” to “protect our country” from Turkish “invaders.”
The LNA supports Libya’s eastern parliament while Turkey stepped in militarily earlier this year in support of the Government of National Accord (GNA) which controls the capital Tripoli.


Turkey to arrest 82 including mayor over pro-Kurdish protests

Updated 25 September 2020

Turkey to arrest 82 including mayor over pro-Kurdish protests

ANKARA: Turkish authorities on Friday issued arrest warrants for 82 people, including a mayor, over pro-Kurdish protests six years ago, officials and local media said.
The warrants relate to October 2014 protests in Turkey sparked by the seizure by Islamic State (IS) jihadists of the mainly Kurdish Syrian town of Kobane.
Police were on the hunt for the 82 suspects in the Turkish capital and six other provinces, the Ankara chief public prosecutor's office said in a statement.
The prosecutor's office did not specify what offences the 82 are alleged to have committed.
But it said crimes committed during the protests included murder, attempted murder, theft, damaging property, looting, burning the Turkish flag and injuring 326 security officials and 435 citizens.
There was also a warrant for the mayor of the eastern city of Kars, Ayhan Bilgen, Hurriyet daily reported.
Bilgen won the city in 2019 local elections representing the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which is Turkey's second-largest opposition group in the parliament.
Of a total of 65 HDP mayors returned in those elections, 47 have now been replaced by unelected officials, with some detained on terror charges, the party said last month.
The Turkish government accuses the HDP of being a political front for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party -- which has waged an insurgency against the state since 1984 -- but the party denies this.
Former HDP co-leaders, Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas, were named in the investigation but both have been in jail since 2016 pending multiple trials.
The government accused the HDP of urging people to take part in the protests across Turkey that left 37 dead.
But the HDP blames Turkish police for the violence.