Stability in the Mediterranean and Turkey's economic security - LEVENT YILMAZ

Stability in the Mediterranean and Turkey's economic security

As Turkey continues its multifaceted diplomacy in the Eastern Mediterranean, the visit to Libya by a delegation consisting of Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, MİT Head Hakan Fidan and Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın is also seen as a critical part of this process. The topics discussed in this visit, which reflects the support given to the legitimate government in Libya, contain important messages for the period ahead.

BACKGROUND OF LIBYA VISIT

The Turkish delegation's visit to Libya is critical in many ways. In particular, it’s no secret that the resolution of the ongoing crisis in Libya and the efforts by Turkey to restore security is of great importance not only for Libya but for that of the Mediterranean Sea as a whole.

As you recall, in November 2019, an agreenment on security and military cooperation was reached between Ankara and and the legitimate government in Tripoli with regards to the determination of maritime jurisdiction which ushered in change not only in Libya, reshuffling the entire deck in the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, according to the information gleaned from the lastest visit, one of the issues discussed is investments in infrastructure and oil.

Despite the fact that oil was not the reason for Turkey’s presence for Libya, it will be one of the resutls to come out of the stability to-be-establish which is detrimental not only for the future of Libya, but also for Turkey's economic security.

As I mentioned in more detail in a column, Turkey's oil imports from Libya came to a standstill as a result of the ongoing civil war that started in August 2011.

Prior to that, Turkey's total oil imports from Libya stood at 20 percent which later dropped to 3 percent then fell even fruther to 1 percent.

This resulted in Turkey being forced to rely mainly in Russia and Kazakhstan for its energy needs. Such a dependence gave way to several unwanted results.

Today, the security of both the Mediterranean and the stability of Libya, as well as Turkey's general and economic security through the Mediterranean became an important opportunity to be ceased.

Meanwhile, Turkey's presence in Libya to prevent it from being colonized became the only variable in the equation.

AN UNSTABLE LIBYA and UNWANTED TURKEY

In my previous column, I elaborated on the quality of Libyan oil and oil fields. It goes without saying that companies such as ConocoPhillips, Italian ENI, Russian Gazprom, Austrian OMV, Canadian Suncor, Spanish Repsol and Norwegian Statoil operating in these fields are pleased with the cırrent state of instability in Libya. Currently, the last thing any of them want in Libya is a government that can stand on its own two feet and will use the vast oil reserves it possesses for the welfare of its own people. That's why foreign players in Libya, with the exception of Turkey, are aiming for continuted instability, and have no desire to see the legitimate government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and Turkey play decisive roles in a region that supports its presence.

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