Hands-off East Mediterranean, stop fanning the flames in Libya

While oil and gas has already been almost completely shared by imperial and regional countries, in its attempts to turn the country’s geographical position into an advantage, the Erdoğan leadership signed an underwater borders agreement with Libya. Discussions to send soldiers to Libya has already started.

As the region is accommodating a number of ravenous parties, it is almost impossible to tread a trouble-free course; condemnation of Turkey to become the second nation in the quagmire of the region is an invitation to foreseeable problems.

The region, to which Turkish research and drilling ships entered too late, is already overrun by big imperialist countries and regional reactionaries. Israel and Egypt are already extracting oil; Cyprus has already signed agreements with international monopolies. While almost all interested countries attempted to set up military bases in Cyprus or already have military presence in East Mediterranean, Turkey is trying to break its isolation through the use of its agreement with Libya.

In the East Mediterranean, the Erdoğan leadership does not have an opportunity to use the contradictions between imperialist Russia and the US, as they tried in Syria. Russia, with whom Turkey has good relations in Syria, does not support the internationally recognised Tripoli government, in contrast to Turkey, but the forces of General Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi. Turkey is forced to choose a side in the conflict between these two forces; Turkish workers face being dropped in the middle of a new fire and come face to face with their allies in Syria.

These developments point to the desperation of the leadership for leverage in achieving power and influence in the region but also show how crucial it is for domestic politics. To meet its financial and political expectations, the one-man regime that lost its domestic legitimacy and support is attempting to feed off the contradictions and conflicts abroad.

The interests of Turkey and other peoples of the region will not be served by the struggle to share the Mediterranean, raising the risk for new wars and conflicts. Sending the fleet to the Mediterranean and soldiers to Libya takes the future of the regional peoples to a knife edge.

The Turkish leadership should firstly give up on interventions that will disturb the fault lines and will lead to conflict in the region. In trying to become a party to the conflicts in the region, rather than creating opportunities for peace and democracy, they are targeting the solidarity of peoples in the region.

Turkish workers will not be a party to the war in Libya; they will continue their struggle for peace, freedom and democracy.

Our party is against sending troops to Libya and defends the right of peoples to live together in peace. All the forces in the East Mediterranean in an attempt to share it should withdraw; the future of the East Mediterranean should be determined by the peoples of the region.

Labour Party (Turkey)